Real Life

Aussie mum helps sons discover the Christmas spirit

I wanted to demonstrate the gift of giving

Adeline from Sydney, NSW shares her festive story…

Stepping into the enormous warehouse in Chullora, NSW, I was astonished.

Hundreds of volunteers were wrapping presents or filling hampers.

“Its like Santa’s workshop!” I marvelled.

It was December 2018, and I had discovered the Sydney Basket Brigade.

The charity packed hampers and gift boxes with basic pantry items as well as Christmas treats that are delivered to locals in need.

Help us change lives one basket at a time, their website read.

It was important to me that my two boys, Kallum, 10, and Brayden, nine, learnt to be kind to others, so I immediately registered myself, my husband, Tony, and the boys for the packing day.

Tony and I took the boys to Sydney Basket Brigade. (Image: supplied)

We arrived dressed in Christmas colours, but it was clear my sons hadn’t yet caught the spirit.

“How long do we have to stay here for?” Brayden whined.

“All day, mate,” I said.

My sons’ lives were comfortable, but as the daughter of immigrants, I wanted to demonstrate the importance of making sacrifices.

“Why do we have to do this?” Brayden asked.

“Because the world’s a big place,” I responded. “It’s not all about us.”

It took Brayden a while to get into the spirit. (Image: supplied)

The atmosphere in the warehouse was very lively, but my boys were doing a very half-hearted job with the wrapping.

“This might be the only present someone gets,” I said.

I showed them how to fold the corners and make the present look neat.

The boys, both lovers of origami, finally started to have fun.

“They look great!” I said when they showed off their perfected wrapping.

That evening, we delivered a few of the hampers.

It warmed my heart to see my boys delivering presents. (Image: supplied)

“This is amazing!” said the first woman we visited. “Thank you so much!”

Watching my boys hand her the hamper made me very proud.

They’ve returned to the Sydney Basket Brigade with me every year since.

Slowly, they’re discovering the joy of helping others at Christmas.

It’s made us so grateful for what we have.

Sydney Basket Brigade packing day is on Dec 16. To donate or volunteer visit

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