It’s easy to get caught up in consumerism during the holidays, and this is especially true for children who may not have learned the true meaning of Christmas just yet.
That’s why one eight-year-old girl’s letter to Santa went viral after she made an incredibly selfless and unexpected request.
“Dear Santa Claus,” she began. “Since you’ve been giving us presents every year this year I ask for nothing. I have toys, a home, family and love. So this year I want to make you something. Tell me what you want this year and I’ll make it.”
Mum Diana Vasquez Prado shared her daughter Nadia’s letter via the Facebook page Love What Matters after the youngster gave her note to their Elf on the Shelf, Twinkle, to bring back to the North Pole.
“When I found it, my heart melted, and I cried,” the mum wrote. “I’ve always tried to instil the true spirit of Christmas into each of my daughters. Christmas is about love, happiness and, overall, family.”
Nadia’s letter has been shared more than 4,000 times, with hundreds of people commending the girl for her “sweet soul” and praising the mom for raising her daughter with a selfless spirit.
In an interview with Scary Mommy, Vasquez Prado revealed that her eight-year-old daughter has always had a caring soul.
“When she was five, she cut off her waist length hair and donated it to Locks of Love,” she said. “There was a year when we had to rebuy her school supplies a couple of times. When I chastised her about being careless, she told me she had given them away to some classmates who didn’t have many supplies.
“This year, she gave all of her money to a charity fundraiser at school. She doesn’t get an allowance, so it was money she had saved here and there.”
It can be tough to teach kids gratitude during the holidays when plenty of youngsters (and adults too, for that matter) are focused on receiving gifts. That’s why psychotherapist Kelly Bos previously told HuffPost Canada that the easiest way to change your child’s attitude is to model gratitude all year round.
“Instilling the values of gratitude and giving require a commitment throughout the year, not just during holiday seasons,” Bos said. “Each family may have their own unique ideas on how to be appreciative and generous, and that’s OK. There is no wrong way to be thankful and compassionate.”
Vasquez Prado and her husband are still overwhelmed by the positive comments people have left for their daughter. On Facebook, the mom wrote, “I can’t believe this page shared her letter. I’m so proud of my baby. She has a good heart.”
Scary Mommy reports that Santa also wrote back to Nadia requesting chocolate chip cookies, a glass of almond milk, and a drawing of a Christmas tree.
“She loves to draw!” her mum told the site.
This story was originally published on the Canadian version of HuffPost.