I’m one of those people who loves the Christmas season but once December 26th rolls around, I’m beginning the countdown to the first day of summer.
And I’ve been thinking about that a lot.
I hate winter. And I hate the cold weather. But for some reason, even though it’s cold and wintery, Christmastime is the best.
I don’t love Christmas because I’m going to receive a bunch of gifts. Due to our financial situation, my husband and I haven’t even exchanged gifts for the past three or four years.
And what really is different about the 26th than the 25th? I mean, aside from the presents?
Well, people are nicer between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A lot nicer.
They smile at each other.
They say hello and goodbye or Merry Christmas! to everyone they see.
So why are we so much more willing to acknowledge and greet complete strangers between the fourth Thursday in November and December 25th, but not on the other 330+ days of the year?
Why do we run mitten and hat drives and adopt families who are in need and go out of our way to ensure everyone is happy and make an extra effort to be friendly for that four week period only?
You know how your kids make you a present at school and they bring it home on that last day before vacation and they can hardly contain themselves and they are torn between waiting for you to see what they’ve made for you on December 25th and just blurting out what it is as soon as they get off the bus because they are so excited for you to open it?
Well that right there is an indication of the true spirit of people.
They love to give. No one is more excited than a small child waiting for you to open something he or she has made for you with love and care.
And I think I might not hate winter so much if that feeling stayed around longer than December 25th.
This year Number 3 and 4’s classes at school “adopted” families in need for Christmas. And they came home with a list of things the family members would like.
And being in a pretty big financial bind ourselves, we didn’t have a ton of money to put toward the gifts.
Number 4 was distraught. She needed to contribute toward that family.
My mom suggested to Number 3, 4, and 5 that they could come to her house and do some work to earn money.
And so they did. They slept over at my parents’ house one weekend and they worked their butts off.
Number 3 opted to donate his money directly to his class’s fund. Number 4 earned $20, and as soon as she had it in her pocket, she started begging to go shopping for the kids in the family.
The following weekend, my parents took her to buy gifts. She knew exactly what was on the list, and she spent every single cent she had earned on stuff she picked out herself. She was so excited.
I was very proud of her. She had the spirit of Christmas in her. And she couldn’t wait to help out a family who was in the same boat we are.
I have been thinking that once our financial situation turns around, I would establish a fund for parents who are having the same difficulties as us.
Because I can tell you that one of the worst feelings in the world is not knowing how you are going to come up with the money so that your kid can play baseball or swim on the swim team or take dance classes or play basketball.
We have been very, VERY fortunate that friends and family and strangers and basically our entire community have helped us out.
And one of the things I’d like to be able to do for another family is to take away that worry about whether or not their children will be able to participate in a sport.
And so I have found that thing I want to do in 2015.
I don’t need to wait until next December to have that excited feeling because I am going to give someone a gift they are going to love or watch the look of worry disappear from the face of another mother.
And I don’t need to have money myself to help out other families.
With this blog, I have access to thousands of people. Thousands and thousands of people.
I’ve got resources available to me.
And I’ve been wanting to involve my children in some sort of charitable activity during the year. I want all the kids, and not just Number 4 to be passionate about giving to other people.
So this is the activity. It’s perfect.
I don’t know exactly how it’s going to work.
I don’t know how the families will be chosen or exactly how we will help them out or how the funds/gifts/meals will be collected.
But what I do know is that I’m going do my best to keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year long.
Because I’m not really satisfied with the most wonderful time of the year being limited to a measly 8.3%.
I’ve been called an overachiever before.
And in this department, I’m no exception. In this department, I’m shooting for closer 100%.