a question about christmas custom

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Jenny Lau

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May 31, 2003
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I read an article about christmas, and there is a sentence(in red words) at the beginning concerning christmas cunstom in America, would u please explain it to me ?

I was never one for putting money in that little red kettle at Christmas time. I do something else. Every year I pick a name, or two, off the children's Christmas tree inside the local mall and I try and buy something personal. Last Christmas, I picked three names off the tree and purchased three pairs of shoes and three watches. I generally don't spend much money on the shoes, maybe $15 a pair. But the watches, now that's another story.

My question is: 1.Are the poor children's names written on cards and put on a christmas tree in a shopping mall? Is it a common thing in America?
2.Are people expected to pick several children's names and buy preasents for them? Are there many people do sunch a kind thing or just the author?
3.How could people send the gifts to the children's home? Who offers their adress? The shopping mall?
Thank u very much!
 

StaceyJ

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It depends on the city and the shopping mall. In my city in Canada there was a tree in WalMart that had pieces of paper with the age and sex of a needy child written on it (for example, 5 year-old girl). The practice was to buy a gift for one of those children if you could afford it and give it to the staff at the store. Some people bought for more than one child and some couldn't afford to buy for any. The store staff would forward the gifts to a group who organizes such things.

Another group in my city who did such things was the Fire Department. Every year they would raise money for toys to be given to needy children. While I could never afford to buy any full toys for children, I always gave some of my small change to the firemen.
 

Jenny Lau

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May 31, 2003
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By the way,I forgot another important question:
In the artical, the christmas tree with poor children's names was also put in Walmart Supermarket. I don't know whether it is only Walmart who does such a thing or many other supermarkets do it?
Anyone comes to know that?!
 

Ouisch

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Many different organizations offer a similar scheme for needy children. You'll see those gift trees at department stores, banks, hospitals, office buildings and restaurants. Quite often a service organization in the area such as the Lions Club or Kiwanis will set it up; they'll collect the names and addresses of the children, along with their gift wish list. They place the child's name, age, gender, and gift wishes on a tag and hang it on a Christmas tree. If you want to participate, you purchase a gift, wrap it, and attach the child's tag to it and place it under the tree, or give it to a staff member. They will then forward the gift to the child's home. Quite often the tradition is to have the child include one "necessary" gift item, such as warm clothing they might need, and one plaything type of gift, such as a toy that they'd like to have. :)
 
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