A kind-hearted little boy who has turned into Father Christmas has collected presents for children less fortunate than him.
Oscar Sheard, aged 10, used his pocket money to buy gifts for children who may not otherwise receive them at Christmas - and has now collected just under 100 presents, thanks to donations from family and friends.
The youngster told his parents he wanted to use his pocket money in this way because giving presents "is far better" than receiving them.
“Oscar’s best trait has always been his empathy”
Oscar’s mum, Emma, age 42, knew that the festive season would be different when her youngest child Oscar would no longer believe in the magic of Father Christmas. She was amazed, however, when her son decided he wanted to become Father Christmas himself and donate gifts to the Salvation Army.
Oscar has spent the last few weeks collecting presents, including books, crayons, jigsaws and toys, which he will hand over to the charity during the first week of December. His parents, Emma and Dave, 48, who run a gas engineering business, say they are “very proud” of their little boy and hope his actions inspire others to donate a gift to someone less fortunate this Christmas too.
Emma, from Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, said: “I was dreading the moment Oscar no longer believed in Santa. I was frightened of the change from that magical childhood belief. When Oscar came to me and said he no longer believed, I told him what I have with my other two children. I said there are two parts to Santa - the part where you believe in the magic and the bit where you are the magic.
“I told him it was his turn to create magic for others so that it doesn’t spoil it for believers. He came back to me and asked: ‘What happens if parents can’t buy gifts for their children?’. I was honest with him but told him that there are lots of charities that help out and I personally have always donated a gift at Christmas. I said he could too, and it snowballed from there. Oscar’s best trait has always been his empathy and perceptions - I’m very proud but not surprised. He’s a little Santa.”
“The magic is still going”
With his decision made, Oscar started by using his £30 pocket money he had saved up to buy gifts, and asked family and friends to help donate a gift or money towards the presents too. He has now collected nearly 100 presents to give to other children in his community.
Oscar said: “I found out people are less fortunate, and I want to help them. When I did believe I remember being so excited running down the stairs and seeing presents under the tree. I put myself in the shoes of kids who didn’t get that, and it must be really sad. The magic is still going - I’m just being Santa.”
The pile of gifts is still growing every day, and Oscar has even had donations from customers at the family’s business.
Emma said: “I asked Oscar if he was disappointed to no longer believe in Santa and he said ‘no being Santa is far better’. It’s nice that he wants to do this for other kids. I couldn’t imagine how heartbreaking it is to not afford presents for your children."
The family have spent their spare time shopping for gifts and picking out a variety of toys for children of different age ranges and genders. Any monetary donations they receive from loved ones go straight to buying gifts, or to the foodbank. Oscar will give his donations to his local Salvation Army in the first week of December, where they will be distributed to families in need in their community, in time to be given to a child to open on Christmas Day.
Emma added: “The magic doesn’t have to stop, you just turn it around. If you can afford to donate an extra gift this Christmas, we hope we inspire you to do that. For those that need support, there is no shame in asking for help if you need it. I was worried the magic would stop with having no believers in the house but turns out it’s just changed to a different kind of magic.”