Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas for the Kids

This year, Eric and I are giving my nieces and nephew Kiva gift cards.  My mom has let them help her pick her Kiva recipients before, which involved finding countries on the map, learning a little bit about each country, then picking one at random.  Now that the kids are a little older, I hope they'll delve more deeply, finding a country that interests them and learning about it through their loans.

Part of this gift-giving goal is that I don't want to give them things they won't use, and I haven't been around them enough in recent years to know what they'd really want.  (At this point, aunt hannah and Uncle Eric are more ideas than real people, and when I do see them, they are a little shy for a bit before coming round.)  Part of it is that I want to give the gift of charity to them - they have plenty of crap, as do we all, so giving something to others is a good value to inculcate from a young age.  Eric and I asked for charitable donations instead of gifts for our wedding, and it's something I would like my nieces and nephew to understand as well.  Finally, I want to give them a little bit of wonder about the world.  As far as I know, no one in our family really ever left the country before I moved abroad (sans a trip to France or a cruise to the Bahamas), but I don't want to be an outlier.  My mom has a world map up in her house, with pins up to represent places I've lived or visited.  Some day, I want to have a map with a different color pin for each of them, showing where they've travelled and explored.  But first, we'll start with DC - I think some combination of them will come spend Spring Break with us, which is basically the most exciting thing that I can consider.  I can't wait to give them a tour.