Every year my office adopts a family at Christmas time. Yesterday we received their wish lists. Every year I tear up when I read their lists. This year we have a mom and three children in one family, and we also requested a single older person. There was a note on the older lady’s list stating she was quite needy but reluctant to ask for help. She listed things such as V-8 juice, coffee, and cat food. Both adults asked for help with utilities, heating oil, and/or grocery store gift cards.
I am so very blessed. I know this. I know this on a subconscious level – but it is good to have a reminder to bring it to the forefront of my mind once in a while.
Today I had some time to sort and wrap presents. I have wrapped only for the kids and the postman so far and I estimate that I’ve wrapped 40 gifts…with maybe 20 or so left to go. Granted, some are very inexpensive trinkets…but some are a bit costly. I am so very lucky that I could afford to get those things for them. Don’t get me wrong….I am not what anyone would consider wealthy. I worry about money. But even so, I am able to provide for my children. How my heart breaks for mothers who may not be able to say the same. I wish I could buy everything on their lists and pay their utilities for the next year. My last conscious thought last night was “Maybe I’ll win the Powerball tonight and then I can take care of all the items on the lists.” (The fact that I didn’t actually buy a ticket was sort of inconsequential in my mind – the postman always buys one and he has assured me he will share).
Tonight the kids and I headed out to purchase some of the items. I like my children to be involved so that on some level they might understand that they too are blessed. We got some clothes, lipgloss, legos, and play princess jewelry for the kids and we got cat food, coffee, paper towels, and V-8 for the older woman. I really wish I knew her size so I could buy her a sweater or some slippers or something cozy. Something useful besides just the basic needs she listed. We also bought cat food paper towels and bleach for the local animal shelter.
I love this part of the holiday season – the help, however small, that I am able to provide to others.
The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give. ~ Walt Whitman