Let me explain. Somewhere around Halloween, I start avoiding stores. If there are Christmas decorations up in November, I quickly avert my eyes and grumble under my breath. When people start counting down to Christmas in July (you know who you are!), I roll my eyes. And if I hear one more version of “Let it Snow”, I might just scream.
But I LOVE Christmas. I love the smell of Christmas trees, the twinkling of lights and candles, and seeing our Groundskeeper in his Santa hat waving at the kids in our playground. I love the children’s visits to our seniors, bringing songs and hand-made cards and a healthy dose of childish excitement and innocence. But most of all, I LOVE seeing the pure unadulterated joy of the many people who come to our door with their arms loaded full of gifts for our families. There have been more than just a few tears shed, by generous donors, by our staff and most especially by our families.
Here are a few highlights:
A woman called wanting to find a place to donate on behalf of her family. She wanted their gift to make a difference in our community. By the end of the call, she was weeping with gratitude that she and her family would get to make such an impact in the lives of women leaving abusive relationships. Tears and pure joy!
For the second year in a row, a local family has adopted one of our families and created Christmas for them. Not just gifts, but decorations and wrap, gift cards for restaurants, movies and food, and even treats for the cat – all given with pure joy! And the mom who received this bounty… she cried, she was speechless, and perhaps most importantly, she promised that one day she would do the same for a family in need.
Another family, with a few work friends, pooled together their Christmas bonuses and hit Walmart. Their young children helped to choose items that they thought were most important (Peppa Pig toothpaste ranked high on the list!). Bags and bags of love and care – all given with pure joy!
What an incredible honour it is to see the generosity and the JOY with which it is given. So if you are feeling a bit grinchy, and the glitz and tinny music are getting on your nerves, consider giving some joy to someone who needs it. It will bless you more than you can imagine!
By Joanne Linka, Manager of Communication and Fund Development