Can you overbuy for a child in need?

in Entertaining nonsense and profound thought

I’ve been thinking about this. Over on The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson’s doing The Seventh Annual James Garfield Miracle.  If you are in the giving mood, I highly recommend pitching in. Here in my town, we have a Christmas Tree at the bank that has the names of local families that are in need. I chose a seven-year-old boy.

He had a list of three things that he likes. So I bought some things on Amazon, but when it came it didn’t seem like enough. So I purchased another toy. And then a game caught my eye.

By this time I’d spent more than my budget, so I waffled. Then I thought about what Christmas must be like for a child from a family in need. I remembered the tight years we’ve had. And I wondered if it was possible to over-buy for a child in need. It’s not like one more gift was going to bankrupt me. So I picked up the game too.

Was that the right thing to do? It seemed reasonable to me. I won’t ever know if the gifts caused enjoyment, but I can’t imagine one more toy could be a bad thing. But am I setting him up to be disappointed next year? Well, I’m not responsible for next year. For all I know, Christmas will be canceled by then. So, for this year, I’m hoping that what I did was enough. I don’t care if it was too much. I’ve decided when buying for children in need there is no too much.

I have a feeling I’m going to apply this rule to grandchildren too. If I ever get any. And not too soon. I’m too young for grandchildren just yet.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kris December 24, 2016 at 2:36 pm

I was one of the recipients of the Christmas miracle Jenny puts on. I got 2 items near the beginning of the project, I figure it’s because I’m in England, vs America, and I think that makes it harder. But I was beyond pleased. I’d only been able to get a couple things for my kids, and had used grocery money to do it, so every bit helped. Right after my list was put in her comments, the ugliness started about people being greedy. When I saw your blog title, I wondered if it would be about more like that. Instead, it was wonderful. You are the spirit of Christmas.

Today I got a surprise package. Someone had bought quite a few items on our list, another expat like us, who made me cry, so hard. I actually had to go buy more wrapping paper, because I hadn’t had enough. And now my kids will have an amazing Christmas. Because someone who reads her blog, saw our list, and didn’t think you could overbuy for a child in need.

People like you, like her, save children’s Christmas’s. And in doing so, like with me, make the parents Christmas as well. Thank you so much.


Kate January 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm

Hi Kris,

Sorry I didn’t see this sooner. I get too many junk emails and don’t see the good ones. I am so glad you had a good Christmas for your children. I really am. When I see a long wish list I’m grateful that there are lots of choices. I hope the new year is good to you, and that you are able to do a fantastic Christmas on your own. But if you can’t, that’s okay too, because we are still here to help.


RandomRamblingMom December 14, 2016 at 1:16 pm

I fully agree.
Like you said you cant worry about next year. You never know when this child may actually stop believing in Christmas altogether. Not to mean that if he stopped believing he wouldn’t deserve or still appreciate some gifts but just to say that when the illusion of Santa is gone so goes the facade the parents/family have been ‘required’ to uphold.
Now that being said I am all for keeping the illusion alive. I literally had a conversation with my 18 year old last night about this very topic. He said “you’ve never actually confirmed that Santa isnt real and every year I still get gifts from Santa and you still continue to act surprised as well. But I’ve known since I was ten years old that he isnt real.” To which I replied “How could I confirm something that isnt true? Santa is very much real. Maybe not in the “fat guy in a big red suit that we trust enough to leave a secret key for him to break into our house one night a year” kind of real, but the spirit of Santa is very real. And that’s where the real magic is.” And that’s when he offered to help play Santa this year for his younger siblings. Yay!!!

So please don’t second guess yourself. You are an amazing person and I am sure that child will be so excited. He wont be the child at school hearing how all his friends got tons of stuff and he only got a book and some socks. Not that we should’nt appreciate a book and some socks, especially if ya throw in a hot alcoholic beverage lol, but kids are competitive by nature and I speak from my own experience when I say its horrible to sit there and dread being asked “what did you get for Christmas?”.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your enormous heart.


Kate December 14, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Thanks, Random Rambling Mom.

Merry Christmas to you too!


Christina December 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm

That is amazing and what a wonderful amazing person you are for helping a child.I had the opportunity to help several children thanks to James Garfield and Jenny.This year I was unable To because my youngest got an autism diagnosis just like my 5 yr old did around the same age.Plus a divorce at the same time.I had to be the one asking this year and I wish I could be on the other end.Thank you go helping children in need this year.Hopefully I will be able To give next year once all this blows over.

God bless you


Kate December 14, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Thanks, Christina,

Here’s hoping that next year is full of light and love AND financial Prosperity for you and yours. And don’t worry about being the one in need. Most of us have been there at one time or another.


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