Many years ago 1975, I think my family was going through some serious struggles, some of them financial. Things were particularly tight that Christmas. It was the first Christmas I really remember being conscious of.
On Christmas Eve, someone in the family noticed a large box at our front door. We opened it to find food and treats and small gifts. Even at four years old, I remember feeling an amazing mixture of emotions and feelings about this box that had been left by an anonymous group of neighbours or a local organization.
I was excited because there was a gift for me it was an old-fashioned top! I was confused and a little ashamed because I knew that this box meant that we were poor. Im not sure how I knew those feelings at that age; I just remember feeling embarrassed.
I wonder what it felt like for my mom Im sure there was some level of relief at being able to provide for her four kids, but I know this cant be one of her favourite memories of our childhood. Moving ahead to December 2013, I feel incredibly fortunate in my life: I have so many things and people in it to be thankful for. I am incredibly grateful for that memory from Christmas 1975, because how would I know what that feels like otherwise?
It is so important to help those who are less fortunate in our communities, especially at a time of year like this, when because of the dark days and tougher economic concerns, people can feel alone and feel great despair. Give big if you can, give a little if you can, give to our local Christmas Bureau or Food Bank or just drop something off at someones door. Help create memories, not just of happiness, but of the concept of giving when you have something (anything) to give, even if it is simply a warm smile!
Happy Holidays to all!