Every year, my office puts together a Christmas basket for a local family, including gifts. This year, one of the children specifically requested an MP3 player. The organizer asked if anyone had a second-hand one they might be willing to donate. I remembered that M had an iPod shuffle he wasn’t using – – not since he got his iPod Touch.
M has lots of wonderful qualities, but he’s not an inherently generous child. Like many only children, he does not like to share his toys, even with his closest friends. Even getting him to share candy with another child can be challenging. He doesn’t even like it when I eat his popcorn. Although his first reaction is to protest, he usually agrees to share, but not without some heavy-duty parental persuasion (aka guilt tripping).
When it comes to Christmas, as he put it to me recently, “he’s all about the getting, not the giving.”
So I fully expected M would push back on my suggestion that he donate his old iPod.
But he agreed without any discussion. He wasn’t sure where the iPod was, but his dad, who’s the organized one in our house, had stumbled across it recently, while looking for something else in M’s room. My husband was tracked down the iPod and all the various bits, including the box it came it in. He deleted the music that was already on there and I brought it into work, along with a new pair of headphones and an iTunes card.
I told M I was impressed that he was so willing to donate the old iPod. He said it wasn’t a big deal, since he wasn’t using it any more. I’m following his lead and not making a fuss. But I’m very proud of him.
The other child won’t know who the iPod came from. But M will have the satisfaction of knowing that he helped make that child’s Christmas just a bit more special. In time, he may discover that’s the best gift of all.
Now if only it was so easy to convince him to go shopping with me to select a gift for his dad…