My two young sons Angelo, 9, and Miguel, 7, look forward to receiving their Christmas gifts from us, godparents and friends. It’s that time of the year when they remind us of their wish lists as early as September (the start of the BER months means Christmas to them).
This year however has been different for my elder son Angelo. At this age, he understood the hardships some people went through, especially when we shared to him the sad news of people who lost their families and livelihood during Typhoon Bopha (a.k.a. Typhoon Pablo in Philippines) that struck the Philippines in early December.
He was personally affected because his grandma’s house (my mom) was devastated by it. She will not be able to live in the house safely again until we are able to help rebuild it.
We told Angelo of our plans to curtail our expenses this Christmas so that we can send funds back home to repair the house. Angelo knew that it meant he won’t get his Christmas toy at this time.
I made Angelo watch the news on TV and explained to him how lucky he was, compared to those who lost their homes and were sick.
The information has sunk in his tender heart, and he did his math.
All he had for Christmas from us was $50 to be able to buy the LEGO he’s been eyeing all these months, or he could keep it in his piggy bank.
Having seen me work with my fellow artists for an ongoing online charity art exhibit called ART for HUMANITY (where proceeds of all artworks sold will be donated by Filipino Artists to victims in Mindanao, Philippines), Angelo asked me how it would work out.
I explained to him that this is a great opportunity to buy quality artworks made by Filipino artists (both renowned artists like National Artist Solomon Saprid and many emerging artists, based in and out of Philippines donating pieces generously). Because bidding starts at ten percent of the gallery price, the chances of winning an artwork is good although he has to be smart in bidding a good one. And that means if he bids on an artwork say 1,500 pesos, he is paying only ten percent of the original gallery price of P15,000 or more.
In the future, should he decide to sell the art piece that he bought, it could be at a higher price and gain from it. We call it profit.
I know my son is smart. He calculated that if he spends his U$50 on at least one painting and (hoping he will win the bid) he can later double or triple his money by reselling. That means he can buy three times as many Lego toys as he wants with the sales of his art piece. Simple, isn’t it?
Without much discussion, Angelo gave me his go signal to bid on his behalf on paintings, which I think will be good for him. It was for this purpose that I bid on select pieces he might fancy keeping at home or at our soon to be art café. I told him I shall handle his art: buy and it will be his forever.
He was too happy to learn early the lesson of art buying and auction and why it is good for kids to learn how to value their money gifts and spend them on essential things they can later enjoy in life. He was particularly happy that his purchase is already a donation to the poor kids he saw on TV news.
I’m so happy that both my sons grew up not being so materialistic. Whilst I do not ram down on them my interest and passion on creative art, they both appreciate the fact that indulging in artsy pleasures has its good benefits. They both get an incentive from me whenever they show interest or do an artwork made by them. Simple incentives like movie dates or mall visits or book or small toy is already something valuable to them at their age.
Teaching our kids early about realities of life, building better values and living it can be challenging. But it is worth the efforts when we know we are teaching them in the right way and in the right spirit. Teaching them early also allows us to help them shape their lives based on their comprehension skills (with our guidance). The earlier we teach them these things and lessons especially on being generous, kind, respectful, prayerful and frugal, the more they will quickly make this a habit because they see their parents doing it as well.
Remember children are like sponges; they absorb whatever is given them. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” [Proverbs 22:6]
Here is the facebook link to participate in the ongoing charity online art auction for the benefit of Typhoon Pablo victims. ART for HUMANITY group link is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/379249525498040/
Participating Filipino Artists makes a full donation of their artworks for the Victims of Typhoon Pablo. Donated artworks are posted on the group page and peg the starting bid as suggested all bidding starts at 10 percent of its current Gallery value. If painting is worth 10 Thousand Pesos – the bid price starts at 1 Thousand or less to encourage bidders and buyers. This online art initiative is for all our poor countrymen in Mindanao South who are homeless and hungry.