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On making Christmas about giving and your #wishforothers

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One. All opinions are 100% mine.

Sorting Operation Christmas Child Boxes

Sorting out their Operation Christmas Child boxes.

I’ve told this story before, but it’s worth repeating: The year before our fourth daughter was born, our three oldest girls received more than 75 presents for Christmas. Yes, you read that right, seventy five!

Part of the problem is that we have a large family, including several sets of grandparents and great-grandparents who have divorced and remarred. Because they are well loved, they were getting gifts from a lot of different people (not even counting their aunts, great aunts and uncles, friends of the family, etc.)

But as we sat coaxing our girls to open the last of their gifts on Christmas morning, we knew something had to change!

At that time, we asked their grandparents to stick to a limit of one gift for each of the girls, and we also began thinking of group gifts instead of individual toys. That has gotten much easier as they’ve gotten older—with fun options like the huge playset out back, which everybody contributed to in lieu of individual gifts a couple years ago—and this year is the first year they’ve really been open to the idea of experience gifts—like a museum membership or tickets to see Frozen on Ice—as well.

For us, though, the best part of this shift hasn’t been that their are fewer toys coming in and cluttering our home (although that is a benefit), but that the girls have learned to embrace giving as one of the very best parts of Christmas!

They get excited about filling Operation Christmas Child boxes, shopping for food boxes for the Salvation Army, ringing the red bell, caroling at nursing homes, and so on…and those have become traditions that we look forward to each year.

I have been so proud of them this year especially, when talking about what gifts they want has really taken a back seat to all of the opportunities to give and serve, and I’ve never been more proud than when they came up with the idea of raising money to buy a goat and two chickens for a family through World Vision.

Truly, I’m not against Christmas gifts — and I even have a Christmas wishlist of my own — but I love that what they’re getting has taken a backseat to what they can give. My Christmas wish is that that will be true for them for always!


Capital One’s #WishForOthers campaign lets you share a wish for someone else – a neighbor, a friend, a family member, a soldier serving in Afghanistan, a teacher or a school, for example – that CapitalOne just might fulfill!

Share your wish on TwitterInstagram or on Capital One’s Facebook page between now and December 23. Be sure to tag @CapitalOne and use the hashtag #wishforothers. (You can also stop by a Capital One Cafe and make your wish in person if you live in Boston, Chicago, New York or San Francisco.)

Visit the Wish For Others site to see the inspiring photos and videos of other people’s wishes this Christmas as well!

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