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A Different Kind of Mother’s Day

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My husband and I go through the same routine every April.

He asks me what I want for Mother’s Day.

I dream of a 2-week vacation in Tuscany or 3 nights of uninterrupted sleep. I think about that new purse I’ve been coveting or a spa day.

In the end, though, my response is always the same:

I really just want to have no plan, spend time with my family, and get taken out to dinner. The simple things are what make Mother’s Day special for me.

My kids have other plans, though. They always want to go out with their Dad and buy me a gift.

I treasure their gifts, but I also know that their sense of joy in giving them is fleeting.

Maybe it’s because we’re blessed enough that they can stroll into Target and select a $15-$20 item without my husband blinking. They don’t understand that what we consider a small gift would be a tremendous luxury for many people, both here in the United States, and in most other countries.

They haven’t learned yet that some gifts provide a temporary joy, and other gifts can last a lifetime.

The faces and plight of mothers around the world – who can only hope for simple things like clean water or good health on Mother’s Day – are ones that my children don’t comprehend yet. Those things are a given, not something to wish for.

That’s why I’m considering a different kind of Mother’s Day this year.

When my husband asks me what I want, I’m going to show him the Save the Children Gifts of Joy Spring Catalog.

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I’m going to ask him to let our children them pick out a gift that will help a mother, child, family or community. Maybe they’ll choose a goat, because it provides both food and income.

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Or perhaps they’ll like the idea of providing a soccer ball or two to some young children, or newborn kits to help take care of babies.

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I could envision my daughter wanting to give the gift of education to another girl, because she loves school so very much.

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I want them to find a gift that speaks to their hearts.

The really neat thing about the Gifts of Joy catalog is that right now, your gift goes twice as far. Johnson and Johnson is matching 100% of your purchase.

If you purchase one goat, you’re donating two. Two soccer balls means four. Instead of educating one girl, you’re educating two.

THAT is powerful. That is a gift that lasts a lifetime.

So I’m hoping that after this Mother’s Day, my kids understand that a gift doesn’t need to come wrapped in shiny paper and fancy ribbons to have meaning. They’ll know it’s the simplest gifts that will be remembered long after the day has passed.

To learn more about how Save the Children’s Gift of Joy catalog helps people around the world, you can watch this video:

Gigi Ross is a wife and mom of two kids (a 10 year-old boy and an 8 year-old girl) living in San Diego, CA. Gigi works as a content and community manager for Johnson & Johnson. A blogger and writer in her spare time, Gigi’s work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Babble, BlogHer and Mamapedia. She keeps her personal blog at KludgyMom.

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