Paying It Forward, Jayden-Style

I’ll admit it. I haven’t had the Christmas spirit so far this year. I have my decorations up. I have Christmas shopping lists at the ready. I have picked up a few gifts. But, the feeling of the season has eluded me completely. I’ve been faking it for my family and blogging very little Christmas-related content, because I can’t fake it in my writing.
And, then Nora, a very dear Facebook friend of mine, shared THIS ARTICLE about a movement underway in honor of a very special little Angel in Heaven, Jayden Lamb.
Paying It Forward, Jayden-Style 01
I dare you to read that article without getting tears in your eyes, a lump in your throat, and joy in your heart.
The “Paying It Forward, Jayden-Style” movement started after Jayden passed away in November. To cope with their grief, his beautiful family started doing small, random acts of kindness in their community. On the day of Jayden’s funeral, his family went to their local Walmart and asked to pay off the layaway bill for a family. The only stipulation was that it had to be toys and it had to be in honor of Jayden.
On the FACEBOOK page set up to keep family and friends up-to-date on Jayden’s progress, the Lambs asked their readers to do their own little acts of kindness. And, suddenly, a movement was born. That Facebook page is up to almost 28,000 likes at the time of this writing, and it’s growing. I’m one of those likes. And there are dozens of stories of little kindnesses done in Jayden’s name.
And, then, in Michigan, The Salvation Army found this in one of their kettles:
Paying It Forward, Jayden-Style
An engagement ring worth about $2,000 that will be auctioned off to raise money for their good works. A ring that must have meant so much to someone at some time, but who felt it could serve a better purpose in Jayden’s name.
And then I realized it.
This is what has been missing for me. I’m seeing tons of posts and stories on how to have the “perfect” party, the “perfect” décor, bake the “perfect” old-fashioned Christmas recipes, and find the “must-have” gifts of 2012. And, yes, Christmas is about making wonderful memories for your children, your family. But, there has to be more than just “I, Me, Mine”, right?
I’ll be honest. I can’t afford to drop a $2,000 ring in a bellringer’s kettle. Heck, I don’t even have a $2,000 ring. I don’t have a lot of extra money this Christmas, but I have some money. And I have my children, my husband, my family, my friends, my home – I have what I need and most of what I want. Someone, somewhere, has it harder than I do – no matter how hard it is for us, someone has it worse.
My kids have loads by comparison. They won’t suffer if I siphon a little off the budget I have set for each of them to do something in honor of a little boy who was loving and generous and taken too soon. A little boy who has unwittingly started a nationwide movement – without a platform, without a microphone, but in the hearts of individuals from all over the country.
How is this even possible? Don’t you need power players? Lobbyists? A big organization? People screaming on the airwaves? Don’t you need all the churches? The synagogues? The mosques? Don’t you need that high-priced celebrity endorsement and commercials?
Jayden didn’t.
So, I think this year, I will wrap a small box for each of my children and put it under the tree, with just a note inside, saying, “This Gift was Paid Forward, Jayden-Style.” They may not realize it right away, but it will be the best gift under the tree.
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Thank you, Jayden. You found my holiday spirit for me. Merry Christmas, sweet one.

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6 thoughts on “Paying It Forward, Jayden-Style

  1. Amber says:

    That is lovely! I feel the same way and its hard to with the gimmie gimmie and to watch others have nothing. I take the kids shopping to buy gifts and we blow just as much to donate as we spend on them and they love it.. My son gets sad though he cant watch them open it up

  2. Mom In The USA says:

    What a heart-warming story. Paying it forward is what success is all about. Thank you for sharing this fantastic story.
    Thank you for joining us on the Thumping Thursdays Blog Hop. I'm glad you did. I might have missed this story had you not. Hope to see you again.


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