- Check to see if there is a Dollar Tree near you. Go here to do so. Assuming there is, proceed to step 2...
- Find some cash. Then find your little ones. Ideally, you want to have denominations that you can divide equally among your little helpers.
- Drive, jog, ride a bike, walk, whatever floats your boat to Dollar Tree. The good news is you will NOT be schlepping a bunch of bags home with you! On the trip there, take a moment to explain to your children that you have a very important job for them... that you need them to pick out special gifts for the children of soldiers.
- Hand out dollar bills (if your helpers are old enough to hold on to it for a few minutes- if not, you be the keeper of the cash) and head into the store.
- Head to the toy aisles.
- Try not to cry as your children carefully select the "perfect" toys for these unknown children and share the reasons why they chose them. ("I give her a magic wand so she can make wishes whenever she feels lonely without her daddy!" *sniff*)
- Let them fill the cart with as many items as they have dollars.
- Head to the check-out and-- and this is important-- let each child put his or her selections on the conveyor belt. It MATTERS. Ask me how I know.
- Tell the new guy- the holiday help with the funky earrings and shaggy hair- that you won't be needing any bags. It's all going in the donation box. Then watch "tough college guy" get all goofy and excited and grinny as he tells the more seasoned cashier next to him that he just got a monster donation "for the kids".
- Let your children put the toys in the box. Make sure each child puts in his or her own choices. It MATTERS. Ask me how I know.
Finally, leave the store with empty hands and full hearts.
This post is linked to Top Ten (Tuesday).