Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Season For Giving

Oprah's "My Favorite Things" .... Ellen's "Twelve Days of Giveaways" .... Just two of the bigger - more visual events where people are given things in the name of the Christmas Season.  I have written before about how much I love these shows. How they leave my cup overflowing with joy.  Just in watching the elation on the faces of the unsuspecting recipients.  I look forward to it every year!

As much as I love these shows, what I love more is the way communities ban together during the season of giving.  Schools doing clothing, toy and food drives. Christmas Wish charities.  The way people dig deep within themselves for the good of their fellow man.  Everyone scrambling to do what they can to be sure no child wakes up on Christmas morning without a toy.  Donating for Christmas food hampers - so that low income families can gather around their table and enjoy a wonderful meal as they celebrate the day.

Having been a young mother at 22 years of age, I am certainly thankful for those who reach out to help lower income families.  I cannot begin to express how tough it is as a mother, worrying about how you will provide "Christmas" for your child.... working with precious little money - and you want it to be perfect ... the turkey... the fixin's .... the gifts ... the tree ... the lights.  There were several years in the beginning, where I was blessed in receiving from of the generosity of others.  How wonderful it was to receive that Christmas Hamper, knowing that the gaps were now filled.  That my child would not go to school - with no story to tell.

Now, let me just say - being a parent - failure is not an option ... and I would have done anything to insure that what needed to happen - happened.  And in the end my child never went without.  With that said, it was an enormous weight lifted from my soul, knowing that there were places to go and people to help when I was young, struggling, and dearly wanting to give my child what every other child would have.

Through the grace of God I have been able to know the other side of that coin as well.  Donating canned goods to the school, when they began their holiday collections.  Donating clothing to charities.  Welcoming friends of myself, my daughter and family - who were alone on the holidays.  Always making sure there was enough food and a place for them in my home.  That they, too, would enjoy a hot, home cooked meal.  Just the way my mother taught me through her actions when my siblings and I were growing up.   It was always just assumed that there would be extra bodies present during the holidays - or on a Tuesday.  And they were always welcomed!

So, I guess I just wanted to say ... do what you are able.  Whether it is donating a few cans of food .. a bag of diapers ... baby formula... clothes.... bedding .... new toys .... money....

Please, give.  Give whatever you can!  Whenever you can! And not just through the holidays. Because you may never know when the day may come that you will be standing on line, hopeful to receive from the generosity of others.