Sharing Lottery Tickets

Yesterday I gave away some scratch-off lottery tickets to strangers.  I gave some to the guys working at the post office – and let me tell you – the joy that five dollars can bring is pretty amazing.

I decided to add a few scratch-off lottery tickets to some of my holiday cards this year (I am not a gambler, but some of our friends and family love these scratch-offs – plus, you “gotta be in it to win it” baby).

lottery tickets for the postal workers
The lottery tickets for 2 postal workers….and a few extra ones to give along the way.

The reason I am sharing this here is to encourage you to maybe do something little for someone in the next couple of days. Maybe you already have, but if you have not – I double dog dare you to buy something  for under five dollars to specifically give to a stranger.

Too often we forget or miss the little joys that can ripple into someone’s day!

Sometimes a bunch of negative assaults or chronic burnout can be buffered when we share kindness – like I experienced with mere dollar scratch-off lottery tickets yesterday!  Also, last Friday I gave away a bag of clementines to some workers who were heavy spirited.  I walked back in and said, “Here you go -this is for you and the staff – happy holidays…” and the guy LIT up. We were on our way home from grocery shopping and I had a huge bag of healthy fruit – and decided to share – and that was under five dollars!

I am not saying you have to be in a jovial mood all the time -no way!  But I am saying to be intentional about giving “sometimes” –  And when I stopped at 7-11 to buy scratch-offs – I purposefully bought a few extra so I could give some away.  I originally was thinking of the postal clerks, but I also gave one to this guy who was counting dimes to pay for something at 7-11.  Then… the Pepsi delivery guy saw it and said something about it – so I insisted he take one too – and we shared a smile.

tea in the cards
the tea bags attached to our xmas letter

But the real special lottery ticket share was with this lady (from New Jersey) who was at the Mechanicsville post office table – stuffing a box for her daughter.  I was at the counter with her putting the lottery tickets into my holiday cards – the ons that also had the tea.

I asked the lady if she wanted a lottery ticket to put in her box.  She looked at me somber-like and muttered, “Huh…”  I showed her my stash, offered again, she smiled – took one… the whole atmosphere changed!

Honestly, this lady’s joy meter went way up.  An onlooker saw her taping it into a card and added, “Don’t forget to write all winnings are shared 50/50.” – and they laughed a bit.

 So basically it cost me five dollars to add a little bit of unique joy into the world.

five us dollars

Five bucks!

Now I hate sharing about our giving.  I am a little uncomfortable with the post showing the plates of Xmas goodies we gave away over the years-  but I really felt led to share that because maybe just one or two folks needed that idea!  And that is how we cultivate creativity – by sharing ideas…

Sometimes humans can get puffed up from and prideful with their giving – because let’s face it – there is some power in being the giver.  And the Bible even talks about folks who bragged about their lavish giving — the Pharisees — and how they gave for status and how pride tainted their gifts because their giving was from a dark and ugly heart…

But there is a side to giving that is so joyful!  And I know, I know – most of us have budgets – but that’s where a little faith comes in…

~~

step daughter and sons
Some old Xmas photos – Top: my step-daughter (1997) and Bottom: my two boys (2003).

 

Anyhow, the main reason for this post – is just to get you thinking about your response to gifts.

Sometimes people feel shame when they cannot give large gifts at Christmas – or they feel anger when the grandparents are not forking over big enough gifts (ha!). Or they never think about overdoing it all the time and how that may be hurting their kids in the long run.

I have seen mixed tensions with parents of young kids the most – you know – they want to give the kids a magical feel and want Christmas to be “awesome” – but “awesome” does not always have to mean expensive gifts.

Many folks seem to have balance  –  but for some of us-  it takes some thinking and adjusting.

But hear me on this – Spoiled kids can be brutal to deal with. Spoiling your kids can leave them needing much!

However, sometimes a light spoiling on our kids can just be fun – sometimes a little spoiling can bless them in their soul!! One year we bought really high ticket items for our boys – we might not ever do it again, but for that year- we all just needed huge gifts – maybe the parents needed it even more than the nippers. Seems silly now, but it was where we were and it was needed….

So let me ask – What do you want to give your kids – a fleeting magical Christmas? – or contentment as an individual?  Well I think we want both!  ha!  And so that is why it takes ASSESSING and thinking about what you need this year and then seeing what is doable and realistic.  And while you are doing that – be sure to think of an under five dollar gift that you can maybe give to a stranger…

 

gifts

~~~ Tips For Parents:

1, Teach kids to think of others at this time too. Serve at the food kitchen, make lunches for the guys who are working on the house down the street, give a note/snack to the mail carrier, give goodies to those who are “not” needy, or give some dollars to those who are on the corner with a sign. Who cares if you are told they go and waste it – the smiles I have exchanged with those folks is a gift to me! – but if this bothers you – go and get them some dollar menu items. 

2. Help kids to see beyond the now.  “Maybe this Christmas we could not get all the sets of Legos — but your b-day is coming and I will get you another hundred dollar set then…” or if they got everything everyone wanted –  still find time to build into their character….

3.  Help kids to see the reality of living within your means. I have seen it again and again, folks going into debt because they want a magical Christmas – and while the kids may have had fun, the January reality sucks more.  So maybe it is time to rethink about what gives longer lasting benefits! Here is a hypo:  “Just so you know, I really wanted to buy you the expensive pink leather jacket too, but I decided to not charge it – especially because it might go on sale in a few weeks.  So how about if we go jacket shopping later – and here is an extra twenty dollars you can put towards a different jacket in the meantime.”  That right there talks about not charging and being conscious of wise spending – it throws them a money perk so they have a little joy from that – and it also helps teach delayed gratification (which can lead to enjoying stuff more).  Or if it was a year that you splurged on jumbo gifts – discuss with them how that financial decision was made (to splurge on a big gift).  “Enjoy your motorcycle this year, but know that it is not the usual price range of Xmas gifts we’ll get, but I really wanted to splurge this year just because…- so enjoy!”

4. If this is a tight budget Christmas – don’t feel bad about that – put your energy into finding new ways to celebrate besides expensive gifts.  (Make a funky meal together – start a tradition of tacky light seeing – talk about the gifts you wanted to gift them –  talk about what really satisfies – tell stories – make ornaments – splurge on something that brightens everyone day)

5. Help kids to see what you experience as an adult.  Discuss and talk openly about how you have modified your expectations or maybe how you have new goals for handling money- or how the lack of enough moola has very real limits but here is how we are coping – keep it age appropriate – but when the spending of money is talked about openly – it has much value! It can shape and get kids thinking about their thinking and spending (because it is connected- thinking and spending is so connected)- and the discussion is really a great gift to them.  

One of our best discussions came from a terrible incident we witnessed one year. One of my son’s friends saw a large package waiting for him from his grandparents. . His grandparents were very wealthy and now lived in the jumbo house around the Lake Anna. We were at his house a couple days before Xmas and we all the jumbo box – He looked at with a beam in his eye and smirky smile.  It turned out to be a bean bag.  A large styro filled bean bag.  We heard that this boy had a small meltdown….  and we could see why – what a tease!  As a family we talked about this later and our kids were young, but we talked about it from a variety of angles.  My point with that story is that sometimes it can be just a huge blessing to give a kid an amazing gift – and I think the grandparents missed out that year – or set the kid up for a let down!  But not every year needs to spoil – come on – because entitlement settles in – expectations escalate – and the truth is that “expensive stuff” is not what fills a kid’s soul.  And that is why we set limits after our “large gift” year.  We just wanted our kids to see objectively at Xmas – and this kind of discussion needs to happen at a young age.  

6. If you want kids that can balance their contentment and cope with ups and downs of life as an adult, you have to discuss things while they are growing up. Hard times can be a very good thing for developing empathy, appreciation, and balance.  The kid years shape and mold what will become a long adulthood –  so be intentional about your role in their shaping.  It starts with us – and we improve and learn as we go – and they should see that part of it too. And the value of “talk therapy” is overlooked – hard days will come and go – and talking through the seasons can soften some of the blow… 

7. Discuss giving and talk about how some people were just never taught the value of sharing (and how some folks just do not have the “love language” of giving – and so to not take it personal if someone does not share – many times it is not out of greed – and it is nothing personal). 

8. Keep growing as an adult.  What kind of gifts do you think you need compared to what you really need.

9. Love your kids – tell them you love – show them you love them – and make time to be with them and love them with your physical presence.  Be their advocate- because even if you are not perfect – they will always remember how much you love them – it will go into adulthood with them in ways that anchor. 

10. Make this holiday a holiday that has depth – find one new thing you can share that goes beyond consumerism. 

~~

This is linked to Kan’s Joy is…. challenge week 22.

Have a great day and  Happy Holidays to all!

 


71 thoughts on “Sharing Lottery Tickets

  1. Beautiful post, Lady Blue-Ski. Today I am printing out a photo for my next door neighbor and putting it in a frame I already have. I have walked away from the big and expensive years ago, and boy does it feel good! No I don’t have children so I have gotten off easily in that respect. Your photos of your kids are adorable, and really just grabbed my Heart. You have the greatest Gift of all …. your children! (((HUGS))) Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lady Rose-ski – the framed pic is such a good idea – and I am glad you noted it in the comments – because it might spark more ideas. and it is crazy to have “older” children – and I have one more post to share before Christmas (hopefully I can get to it)

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      1. I hope to get to see that post, Yvette. I plan on winding down on Petals, answering comments and such and then take off from blogging until next Monday. At least that is the plan …. one never knows with me, and that includes myself. LOL Yes for the little joys in Life … THAT is what LIFE is all about!! (((HUGS))) Amy

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      2. well have a nice break – and I really think the little pauses are good – but I like how you are going to wing it too – because as we both know – some of the best posts unfold that way – which I guess is a nice thing about the informal format of blogging – it kind of helps inspiration to germinate….

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  2. A wonderful post Yvette. I love the idea of the lottery tickets. I think I will keep some with me all the time. I have granola bars with me always to give to folks asking for money.
    This morning I was getting groceries and an elderly couple in their 90s were searching for things they could not find. I became their grocery store guide. They were happy and i was delighted. It is often the wee things that are gifts for all.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. They also love some cash (ha!) and last week I scraped 6 quarters out of the console (who really carries cad anymore with debit cards and smart tags) but I gave it to the guy and his huge, missing tooth smile was “good as gold” – and then he winked at me as he walked away – ahhhh – ❤ ❤

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  3. How old are these lovely boys now? I have no kids to try these tips on, but I agree with them. Have a blessed Christmas, Yvette! Scratch-off lottery tickets seem like a fun idea!

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    1. Thanks so much for asking Paula- I mean Lady Liberty! and they are older teens now – and I made a funia picture of them with their girlfriend – but I cannot upload it now – I will share it later (tomorrow or the day after xmas) so I hope you are able to drop by back by.
      and at a small group party earlier this month – there was a white elephant gift with a lottery scratch off – and that was “THE” hot gift that kept getting snatched and traded… lol

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    1. well thanks for dropping by – and if I may share one of your lines from your meaty post earlier this month here

      The Bottom Line:
      There’s nothing wrong with being generous around the holidays. But, one cannot buy quality time, and that’s exactly what many families try to do, according to statistics. Unless you live across or outside of the country, quality time ought not put you in debt.

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  4. Loved this one Yvette! I remember the year I wanted a princess phone of my own desperately and there was a box for me under the tree that was just the right size. Oh dear, my disappointment when it turned out to be a clock radio LOL! But I had 4 brothers and having my own phone was not in the cards in those days. My parents did a great job of helping us see how much more important it was to,have family we loved vs expensive things like my only-child best friend. They were SO right. As I head off to my brother’s home to share Christmas with all 4 of them and their spouses and 11 children, we will all give thanks for the joy our parents gave us every holiday and for,their spirit that lives on in all of us. Merry Christmas, you crazy gift-giver you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ha! thanks for the comment tina – laughing at the ending – and the clock radio story is great – and I did not realize you were form a large family – and even better that you are able to be with them this holiday – enjoy the gift of family – and safe travels ❤

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  5. The lottery tickets are a lovely idea and a great example for the children. Plus, it sounds like so much fun! And the clementine story made me smile – perhaps also because oranges were my fruit of choice for giving away this year. Not quite clementines, but close enough 🙂

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    1. Thanks ana – and I almost gave out little packs of nuts and fruit this year (clementines are everywhere in stores – and really inexpensive) – but my son and I were deciding — and we went with cookies again – and then I bought two large trays of baklava that I will divi up and add some to each plate.
      but I bet your oranges will be a welcomed treat – with some vitamins… 🙂

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  6. The lottery tickets are a great idea; I think I may have to have a few of those in my pocket from now on. And I think I’ll take a handful to Christmas this year – we don’t do a real exchange, mostly just bring gifts for the kids. I think lottery tickets will put smiles on everyone’s faces. 🙂

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    1. well I was surprised when the white elephant gift that had the lottery ticket was in such demand – and I might start keeping a few more in my purse too – and hey, a lot of the funds go into education so we are also contributing to a good cause – (can rationalize things right) – thanks for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Some sound advice Yvette. I hope that i have taught my children that gifts are not what Christmas is about. I think i have succeeded as when they speak of Christmas, they speak of family time spent together. It makes me happy to hear this as i would not want them to expect high ticketed presents.

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    1. and I bet they watched you crochet those little ornaments for your students – and they also just observe what you value and demo as worthy – like when you get excited about the lights on the walk to the dance place – or when you grab a photo of a clown who has no smile…. ha!

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  8. Great post Yvette. I agree that hard times are good for us now and then. I do try to give to people on the street, especially when it is bitterly cold as it was in Scotland this weekend. It’s good to see their faces brighten. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! My husband and I split up earlier this year and I have been proud and pleased to see how seriously our daughter has dealt with buying us presents this Christmas because she doesn’t want us to feel left out – she has worked very carefully to buy things that will make us happy whilst keeping within her limited budget. I’m sure we spoiled her over the years but she seems to have turned out well 🙂

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    1. Well I am sorry to hear it has been a break up year – and I wish you best with this new path of life with many great things in store. ❤
      I have enjoyed your pics throughout the year – looking up – down -around – over there – and in! 🙂 ❤
      …cool that your daughter has character and balance – sounds like her little touches have been a warm part of this xmas… ❤

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  9. This is a good gift. actually. The anticipation of winning…
    I may have to go with this idea too. I usually get gift cards. I played lotto last weekend and got one whole number right. Gee. But yeah, gotta be in it to win it.

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  10. Oh my! Yvette, this just has to be my “FAVOURITEST” post of the year! I am feeling so blessed that you decided to link this to my series 🙂 There are so, so many things I loved about your post. From the subtle humour (“you gotta be in it…”), to the story about the lady at the post office, to the pictures of your kids (I know the pics are from way back… but, so cute!), to the tips for parents. The scratch card idea sounds great… especially the joy of hope and anticipation that might come with it. You’ve just inspired me to try and spread some holiday cheer around 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your family, and God bless!

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    1. Thanks so much Kan! It was fun to read your comment – and I was just feeling like a Scrooge because my husband went to an xmas luncheon and in the past three years I had sent little bags with him to give to the others – but this year I didn’t – kinda forgot about = but then I had time in the morning and I just thought = “I think we’ll pass this year on handing out a treat” – and had such with peace with it. and so I think for me the biggest thing I have learned is to just let it ebb and flow – be intentional at times, and then other times it is okay to do nada! ha!
      keep me posted on what unfolds – oh – and we also give tickets with birthday presents – and this last fall my son won on a couple – and in October – some girl in Chicago won millions on a scratch off just last October –
      “It’s safe to say this was a birthday to remember for 19-year-old Deisi Ocampo.
      Ocampo received something better than a new car or a giant birthday cake on her 19th. She got $4 million! Ocampo’s father bought her a lottery ticket as a gift, and when she scratched it off, it turned out to be the jackpot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Yvette, I just wanted to drop by and tell you that you inspired me to spread some smiles over Christmas… Didn’t do anything as creative as your lottery tickets idea… just some generous tips to folks working over Christmas, street performers, etc…. and I think more than for the others, it was a great feeling for A and me 🙂 HUGS!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Makes me want to dash down the street chucking clementines at people 🙂 I might get arrested 🙂 🙂 But it’d be worth it. Have a wonderful Christmas, Yvette. Your heart is in the right place.

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  12. Y, What an incredibly thoughtful post !! Just reading this post made me feel warm and my hope for a humanity was restored. Those were some wonderful gestures on your part, every small or big thing we don for others has an impact, good deeds are like ripple effect, it spreads. So I guess we should be thanking YOU for spreading happiness and love and making this world a better place one step at a time.
    A beautiful beautiful post Y, truly warmed up my heart. Wish you a lovely Christmas.
    Lots of love,
    Zee ❤

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    1. thanks so much Zee – and I am not trying to sound humble when I say this – but most of what I have learned has been through observing and having things modeled for me – from life and from books, ya know?
      sure – I add my own twist and flair to some things – but the old saying- “nothing new under the sun” and actually that is is why I wrote this post – just so pay it forward with the ideas that I have gleaned from so many others. (by the way – have you seen the pay it forward movie? it is good…) –

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well then thank you for sharing your wise thoughts and learning’s with us. Nothing better than to spread some lovely ideas for others to follow and spread some kindness.

        Actually someone else also recommended me this movie but I haven’t seen it yet. I guess I should check it out now that you mentioned it too, thank you 🙂

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  13. Such a thoughtful post Y, love the idea for spreading love to strangers with a lotto gift. How delighted they would be, it would brighten even the gloomiest day. The tips for parents are priceless and talking to your children is character building in a very positive way. Enjoy Christmas with your family and best wishes for 2015

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    1. thanks pomme – and I am thinking about giving them my number so they can call me to split any winnings – jk!!
      have a nice day – I enjoyed your surfing santas – and I am logging off until Friday and so this my last comment til Friday morning….
      TTYS ❤

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  14. Hello Yvette,

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post.

    As a young parent, it’s quite an educational one for me.

    First thing I am going to do after posting this comment is to copy the ’10 tips for parents’ and share it in a mail with my cousins.

    There are many a points, which we used to discuss, been elaborated here clearly.

    This year has been a landmark one in my life, interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds, taught me many a things that we can’t get by reading books.

    I really feel great to be in touch all you wonderful people and let me wish you and your loved ones, Merry Christmas 🙂

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    1. Now this really made my day my friend – because that is the reason I shared – hoping that it would help even just one person as they chew on ideas for parenting – cos we learn so much as we go and I am hugely indented to the seasoned parents that took the time to write stuff that helped give me tips and allowed me to improve and grow – so seriously, I appreciate you taking the time to note this Sreejith – 🙂 ❤
      and thanks for the holiday greetings – to you too! TTYL

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  15. I love that you shared your creative ways of spreading joy to friends and even random strangers! (That Rest tea is a favorite in our house.) It was fun and definitely inspiring to read about your open and generous spirit. Good tips too about why not to spoil, and why it’s okay to sometimes. Very cute photos! Merry Christmas, Yvette!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A beautiful post that underscores your thoughtfulness Yvette. Your idea of gifting lottery tickets is novel and fun. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. All best wishes to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I just loved this post!! People often forget, it can truly be the little things that make a difference – sometimes just a smile is enough to a passing stranger. You are providing rich gifts to your children that go way beyond dollar measurement ❤

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  18. Your kids must be young adults by now – good young adults. 🙂

    You bring up some concepts which plague many of us. How much is too much? And what if you are on a budget and divorced, knowing the “other” will have much to give?

    Lottery tickets are a nice idea…until the one you gave away is the big one. 🙂

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    1. dude – you are so right – and that is why there really is not a set formula or one size fits all….
      and oh my,
      what if we did give away a million dollar winner! maybe the 50-50 rule should be implemented with all further giveaways.

      and regarding the divorce situations – I think it comes down to balance again, but in different ways – sometimes there is a competition thing going – or sometimes just complete division….

      For us, it worked out well that my husband’s ex wife was a huge Christmas person and that we are not. So we let the ex do her thing and let his ex have “every” Christmas day ( and we would have “holiday” visitation in early December or right after Xmas. It was not easy for all involved – like in-laws wanted to see their gd – but it was what we felt to do – and it was so win-win because it softened things – because to yield can sometimes bring many good things, ya know. We still did gifts, but for us it did not have to be on that exact day – seriously glad we are laid back about holidays

      oh and my boys are teens still, I will share their “funia” image that I made… 🙂

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    1. oh K – thanks so much for coming back to read 🙂
      and I was watching some breaking bad episodes over the holiday break (binged – lol) and we were all laughing at this one part where Saul (the lawyer) talked about a man who lost his house being addicted to scratch off lottery tickets. not sure if you saw the show, but it is pretty cool for a few reasons, and that lottery ticket line was fun.

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      1. thanks so much – I really appreciate it and normally I would go and look up something myself, but not sure if I even follow her – so really, thanks my friend. 🙂 ❤

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      2. thanks for linking it – the best part was when she asked for that ball park figure – bright little girl – and loved that Irish accent – ha!

        Like

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