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happy friday + the gift of giving…

The Gift of Giving

The Gift of Giving

As the holiday approaches and we all get into the gift-giving mood, it's been really important to me to help give joy to others—especially those who don't have as much or have been born into unfortunate circumstances. So part of our annual family tradition is to help teach Ruby the gift of giving and learn what it means to be grateful for what you do have.

The Gift of Giving

One of our annual traditions for Christmas and Ruby's birthday since she was born has been to take her to donate clothes, toys, and books to other children in need. For every new present she gets, she has to donate something she already has. That way she doesn't keep getting more and more and understands that giving to others matters, too. 

The Gift of Giving

I've started working with the Los Angeles-based Baby2Baby organization this year for our donations. And for this holiday, we've been matched with another family of two girls to shop specifically for and help give them their wishlist of books, toys, and clothes that they need but their parents cannot afford to buy. When I took Ruby to shop for the girls, I told her that we were buying presents for other kids who need them. I kept reminding her that the toys weren't for her but it would make someone else very happy.

This is the first year that she really understood the concept and kept getting excited that she'll get to give the gifts to them in person soon. Sometimes we think these little ones are too small to understand what it means to give, but you'd be surprised how quickly they pick up on it and how they begin to feel joy from it, too.

I hope you all have a great weekend. How is it almost Christmas already?!?

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}


  1. My son turned 3 in October, and I’ve just noticed that he is realizing that not all gifts are for him, and is excited about giving presents to others too. It is such a nice development!

  2. Such a sweet tradition! I really appreciate that you said, “or have been born into unfortunate circumstances.” With the election and everything else that’s been going on in news, I feel like there’s too much emphasis on personal responsibility. I have worked very hard for what I have and have made wise choices in life, but I was also born into a family that never worried about money, had time to read to me and help me with my homework, and helped me pay for college. I think it’s so important to think big picture when giving to charities or donating toys. Not everyone gets to start off with the same opportunities and I love that you’re helping your daughter understand this! Bravo. 🙂

  3. I love this tradition so much! This is an amazing gift to give to your daughter. It will carry her through life and help make the world a better place!

  4. What a beautiful family tradition! I love the last picture of Ruby. It’s cool that she understands what’s going on and is excited to give to others 🙂

  5. This is a wonderful idea. I think it is so important to try and teach our children that we are so fortunate to have so much when some people have so little. x

  6. Joy I’ve been around so many children and I swear I’ve never seen a kid “get it” about gifts and giving and sharing and helping quite like Ruby… I hope I’m able to impart the same wisdom and heart into my own little girl xo. Thanks for being a great example I can turn to.

  7. I love it! My son is 2 1/2 and I’ve been wondering when I should start this with him because I don’t know if he’ll “get it” yet…but this year, he totally understands Christmas and talks about his “Cwistmas Wist” so I have no doubt he will understand the concept of giving to others and helping the less-fortunate. Thank you for this!

  8. We did something similar through Operation Christmas Child and I was pleasantly surprised to see how much both kids really got it. And how much fun it was for them to think of what other kids their age might like or need. xo to you and your sweet Ruby!

  9. How cute is that! Following this path, you and your husband will teach Ruby and Coco what really matters in life: to be happy and to make others happy too. That other people and parents understand the importance of this attitude and adopt in their life too.


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