Thursday, November 17, 2011

Underwear or an Ipod?

These gifts are for one family.
The holiday season is upon us. I have been blessed with a wonderful family, wonderful husband and awesome kids. We have a warm and cozy home filled with love and food.  We have two adorable dogs and a carnival fish that has beaten the odds (I can't say the same for the second fish since it launched itself out of the bowl to its death on the first day). My husband has a job and my book is coming out soon.

I am not bragging about my blessings, I am acknowledging them outloud because I believe for every blessing we have, it is not only important to be thankful for them but to try to share them when and where you can. My husband founded a charity called Building Bridges to give his friends, family and strangers a place to give back. We have made this a mission in our family.

As I lead the holiday gifting program this year, I read the stories of the families we are adopting out and count my own blessings. The struggles some people have....a lot of people have are heart-wrenching. It humbles me.  Leading the holiday gifting program is a lot of work but the thought of giving someone hope at this time of the year drives me.

Sometimes the family's wish lists are long and they ask for things we might think are too extravagant. Just think, if someone asked you what you wanted for Christmas, would you ask for underwear or a hat even if you needed it?

This is Santa we are talking about. The kids are being asked what they want from Santa, the man in the red suit who makes Christmas magical. If its not Santa or Christmas,  it's the magic of the holiday they are celebrating where wishes come true.

We all have wants and if there's a slight chance to get something we want, then why not ask? Who better to ask than Santa. We don't sit on Santa's lap and say, "Well, within my economic bracket, I think it is appropriate for me to ask for..."

Heck no! "Santa Baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me."

It seems the more money and things we have, the more we want, too. Do we need it? Do we deserve it? Do we expect it? The families who don't have a lot want nice things too.  Imagine watching tv and seeing things you would love to have and knowing you will likely never have those things...and knowing a lot of people will be getting them.

These families have no idea how generous our volunteers will be when they are making their lists. Actually, it is difficult to actually get them to write down things they want. They are embarrassed.  They think they will be getting one thing off of their list. Every year, the coordinator who I work with at the school says the families are brought to tears by the generosity of our volunteers . They are so overwhelmed and grateful. They have called us angels on many occasions.

We can't judge people by their economic background, their color, their race, their religion, their wants or their needs. What everyone does deserve is hope and kindness.

Everyone and every situation has more than one side. This is my side and my view of their side as I have experienced it through the gifting program. I am not assuming I know what anyone is feeling but sharing my thoughts. My intention is not to insult but to shed light. This is how I value the good things in my life. This is how I give back.

This year,  walk in someone else's shoes. Give hope, love and cheer. It will come back ten-fold.

No comments: