Every year, the boys each shop for a holiday present for a boy their own age that they don’t know. It’s part of the “angel tree” program at church.
Over a hundred paper angel ornaments hang from the fake evergreen branches of a Christmas tree. Each contains a child’s age, sex and simple gift request. I know I’m not the only one who notices how many kids ask for the basics. It seems fundamentally wrong that a six-year-old’s Christmas wish list should consist solely of long underwear and a coat.
That’s why we like to mix it up.
Down the toy aisle at Target, we find the Star Wars action figures. Our shopping choices reflect my kids’ current obsessions. Who better to shop for a 9-year-old boy than a 9-year-old boy?
“Which two would you want to get most?” I ask.
I want the boys to feel something. I want them to be appreciative of what they have but also to be generous in their giving towards a stranger.
I. examines each figure carefully. Yoda. Darth Vader. Darth Maul. “They’re all good,” he pauses. “But I’d want these.” He places Captain Rex and some battle droids in the cart. Star Wars seems a perfect companion to the long underwear since I think Luke Skywalker looks like he’s wearing a pair himself.