Santa’s Mail Box, at The District Docklands and Australia Post GPO, is a beloved annual tradition where kids (and adults) can write a letter to Santa, addressed to the North Pole 9999, and post it in the post box to get a reply from Santa himself!
There is also a Santa’s Gift Giving Box next to the mailbox where you can donate a gift for a child aged 0-14 years and the Salvation Army will deliver the gift to a child in need.
As I am trying to instil in my kids the message that Christmas is a time for giving, not just for receiving, every year the kids and I take a big sack to the Gift Giving Box to donate a stack of toys I’ve been hoarding in my gift cupboard.
As we put the gifts inside the box Lady AB inspects each of them and calmly puts them in the box. I am proud of the fact that she doesn’t fight to keep any of them, even though some of the gifts look very tempting. As we were doing this we talk about why we were doing it.
Why it is kind to share and give to others when we have lots.
Why some children are not fortunate enough to receive presents.
To imagine the happiness of a child who might otherwise not receive anything at Christmas except for our gift.
I have volunteered for charities that distribute Christmas gifts to disadvantaged families and I have seen first hand the joy that these gifts provide to children. Their faces just light up so bright when they’re told that they’re allowed to choose the toys they’d like to receive for Christmas. That they get to keep these toys, no strings attached. They’re not just told ‘this is your gift’ and handed over something that they don’t want and expected to be grateful for the charity.
I have witnessed grown men and women cry when they’re told their children will have Christmas presents which their family cannot possibly afford.
So next time you’re doing your Christmas shopping, add another item to your shopping trolley. If you keep a stash of emergency gifts like me, it’s your chance to clear some storage space. Santa’s Gift Box states that the presents should be wrapped but I checked with the City of Melbourne and in fact they’d prefer unwrapped presents as they have to unwrap them to identify to most appropriate age group. Also because apparently some nasty people wrap empty boxes!
This Christmas please considering giving some joy to a disadvantaged child and take the opportunity to teach your children about why it’s important to consider those less fortunate than us.