A Season of Giving

Toys for Tots signature logo (credit Toys for Tots organization)

Toys for Tots signature logo (credit Toys for Tots organization)

Tommy Diegnan, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again!  Winter is upon us, snow is coming, and most importantly, the Christmas holiday season is here.  The Christmas holiday season is known as a time for family, friends, celebration, and giving. The least important part of the holiday, giving, is also one of the most stressed.  The stigma around giving at Christmas time is huge as kids believe in Santa Clause, people want to show appreciation for their loved ones, and tradition. This overwhelming holiday presence serves as an amazing stressor for most people in one way or another and can be very frightening as there is usually an obligation to spend a significant amount of money on gifts.  

The price of living is only becoming more expensive and so are the prices of products available on the market.  Kids only want nothing but the latest and greatest which is why this is a valid fear of parents in our day and age.  According to the Market Watch annual report on Christmas time spending, the national average came out to around $500 spent per child.  $500 is a large sum of money to spend on one person for one day of the year. Due to societal perceptions of gift giving, not wanting to let your kids down, and efforts to keep  joy in the holiday, parents make every effort they can to gift all the desires of the kids on Christmas morning. This is where Toys for Tots comes into play.  

Not all people are financially able to make Christmas the holiday everyone perceives it as, so an organization like Toys for Tots makes their best efforts to combat the struggles a family might face.  Toys for Tots is an organization started by the United States Marine Corps Reserve and is designed to distribute gifts to children for Christmas for those whose parents cannot afford them. This organization poses as a great thing to take apart of during the holiday season as those who are fortunate enough to have an extra opportunity to do a good deed and give to someone in need.  For this reason, Mendham High School participates in a Toys for Tots gift drive the weeks leading up to the holiday.  

In every history class at Mendham, there are boxes labeled Toys for Tots for gift donations and the class that brings is the most gifts is to be rewarded with a pizza party after the new year.  Some may think that the kids just do it for the party afterwards but this is not the case because in high school, class parties are not exactly a priority. Mrs. DeMiceli, a staff member of the history department stated that “the kids don’t do it for a reward, they do it because they actually care, which can be seen in the student when they bring in their gift donation.”  The way Mendham High School community is able to rally and put together a joyful Christmas morning for a child who probably would not have had one is truly something special. The act of giving is something that is special and has value which is what speaks to the character of people at Mendham High School.