It’s Not Really "About the Backpack!"

This really amazing thing happened. This Back Pack that I so wanted Abigail to have was purchased through the generous offer of Scott Stratten, President of Un-Marketing. He is an expert in Viral, Social, and Authentic Marketing which he calls Un-Marketing. Author of The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome. I saw a friend post about it and figured this could be fun. I had always wanted to do an Amazon wish list anyway. SO the children and I had a wonderful time creating this awesome Wish List! We posted the link on the Unmarketing facebook page as requested like the other hundreds of people. I never gave any information about our circumstances, just a simple link saying how much fun it was creating the list. The list has become in our home a target for dreams, we all have dreams don’t we? I highly recommend you go ahead and go over to Amazon and create your own wish list. This is so much fun for the whole family and has brought us countless hours of wishing. Anyway, when the highly treasured Dora backpack arrived I was surprised. I had forgotten all about the link I posted. I mean that list if jam packed with wishes, how could anyone of known that Abigail (2) wanted that Backpack more than anything? It took me days to figure out this mystery. Last night, I went on Amazon looking for the hard to find Merrill Readers that Brynn does best with. Now I am not talking about the new fancy ones, no the ones that Brynnon does best with are the old ones, MERRILL LINGUISTIC READERS, A BASIC PROGRAM
and they are from 1966 of course! I have spent a lot of money on the new ones, believe me I wish he did as well with them! So, of course when I was discouraged at the availability of them… and the fact that no one has a complete set of these… I moved on to have some fun! To the Wish List! We added all sorts of fun things… Then I decided to separate the list that had grown to a few pages. Well, there it was… THE BACKPACK…. Oh my heart was racing! Could it really be that someone we do not even know purchased that Backpack? I finally saw the tab that allows you see “purchased” items from your Wish List. Sure enough when I did that, someone had indeed purchased that Backpack from Amazon, from my wish list! How amazing is that? It’s more than a Backpack… it’s my renewed confidence in mankind. It erased so much negativity, so much disappointment in people in general. As terrible as this sounds, I had really lost the ability to believe that people do good, without getting something in return. I am sure that it began long ago, but it was actually year before last around the holidays that I started really feeling strongly negative about giving. It was in a group setting, where iPads were being given to “Needy” families with children with Special Needs. The goal was to get to know people and pick them to nominate them to receive one. It was through this experience that I realized I was not “normal.” I became facebook friends with the person I chose. Her Daughter had Autism and she was new to the group, so sympathy played a part in that decision. It was not long after that decision that I realized the extent of greed. She did not get chosen, but it wasnt about that. It started with a photo of a gaming chair that she posted a photo of, that she had purchased for her husband. I couldnt help but think to myself, dang that must be about half maybe more of an iPad right there. The pictures continued to show up games, a new game system, tons of toys… and it happened, I was then a full fledged negative person about giving. I could not for the life of me see how anyone could in good conscience go to a group like that, claiming they were in need of and could not afford an iPad with priorities like that? I mean what is important, can the average person not tell the basic human difference in NEED and WANT?
 Perhaps it was my opinion that Christmas is a horrible holiday, packed with pagan roots and the terrible displeasure of people wanting to buy to get that started this downward spiral. All my life I had heard people say, we have to buy for so and so because they will buy for us. It has become a game of who can buy the most gifts to get the most back, disgusting to say the least. I had even had someone invite me to Christmas dinner and add that they needed to know if we would be coming, because they wre only buying for my children of we were going to be there. Seriously, was that supposed to make me show up?
I was at my wits end after hearing so and so didn’t buy me anything and I bought them such and such. I had watched this private group get all these gifts for a very needy little girl for her fist Christmas with a new family. What a wonderful thing right? Yeah, it was… Until it turns out that the gifts were for the woman who claimed to be helping a family in need. Ugh… how terrible is that? Apparently, this whole internet thing is FULL of people that are trying to scam people out of FREE STUFF. As the Father would have it, I cannot be as negative about all this now. That backpack has restored in me a new breath of fresh air about giving and receiving. The person who purchased that backpack may never know that Backpack was one of two new gifts that Abigail received for the Holidays, and it was the only gift that anyone besides her Sister and I bought her. She was blessed beyond measure by getting this totally awesome Dora Talking House with the people and furniture previously loved by another child. Her Sister (22) sent her a wonderful Princess Piano! Brynn and Brett got 4 airsoft BB Guns each with 6,000 plastic BB’s and Brandon got a used T-shirt lot from ebay and a Foo Fighters Guitar Tab. Their Sister sent all the boys a pair of headphones. This is what we see as normal. When the older children were young times were better and we could afford to buy a  few gifts each for the children. It has been several years since we have been able to do anything like that. We celebrate Hanukkah every year. In 2005 we celebrated both and let the children decide which they would rather celebrate and Hanukkah won, so we have ever since. I hope one year to be able to buy everyone a gift for each of the eight nights. This year, the boys offered to let me spend what we had to spend on Abigail, I just couldn‘t not get them anything. They had a blast with those BB guns, and it turns out that if your buying cheap plastic BB guns 6,000 BB’s is about all you need! The positive thing about doing things this way is, my children can tell you exactly what they got for Haunkkah this year! 🙂 Not too many children can do that! So, with this new giving receiving attitude, I went to Amazon and entered people‘s names from my facebook friends list. I bought something from one of their list, just a small item and didn‘t really affect my bank balance. Wont they be surprised? I so love the idea of giving in secret that I have decided to randomly do this when I have an extra few dollars. I think it is a good thing for the children to take part in and we will make a tradition out of it.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:2-4

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