Friday, December 9, 2011

Too Good To Pass Up

I grew up in the seventies.  Not hippy -style either.  The sperm donor was in and out of jobs and we lived day to day. I wore second-hand clothing and stood in government "cheese lines", with my mom and Grandma, on the weekends.  I was fully aware, I resided on the wrong side of the tracks.  My parents had to work very hard to provide the essentials; which is shelter, food, and clothing. There were no extras. I received an education in life's harsh realities at a tender age. Being the oldest, I went everywhere to help, either carrying groceries or keeping my siblings in line, whatever was needed.  I knew what our financial status was.  We had none.  It was Christmas time.    There were many heated battles, always about money.  It was hard to remember it was " the most wonderful time of the year" with all the ruckus.

  The Christmas of 1980 was a rough one .  The sperm donor had refused to get a job months prior. There was a decision to sit in the dark and freeze or buy presents for 3 kids.  At age 11 I was forced to digest this and it shaped my life. That Christmas I asked for nothing. I wanted nothing.  I hated Christmas.  I went to bed listening to my mom cry. She was alone, He left after punching a wall.  I laid in my bed on Christmas Eve night, worried he would return and dreading Christmas.

Christmas breakfast was very quiet.  He was there, it was very uncomfortable.  My younger brother and sister were excited about opening their presents, oblivious to what had transpired the night before.  There was a knock at the door.  On our front porch was a HUGE box of presents.  We had no idea that  someone had put our names on the church giving tree.  Our presents bought by people who did not even know us.   That HUGE box changed the tone of the day and  forever changed  how I view Christmas.  I received a pair of Chic jeans { real big in the 80's } a long sleeve plaid shirt, nail polish, cool socks, and a writing pad and pen set.  I will never forget that Christmas.  It's been 30 years and I can recall it like it just happened.  That would explain the waterworks  while I wrote this.

As I said, this experience shaped my thinking about Christmas.  I think of people who have next to nothing, especially around this time of year. Since I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end, I do what I can . Just as my life changed 30 yrs ago, I have the power to keep it going. You can too.    While you are out shopping for your family and friends, grab an extra gift to give to any charity.  You have an opportunity that is too good to pass up.   An amazing feeling of goodness will follow , I guarantee it.

If an extra gift is not in your budget, you could donate the shoes and clothing you no longer wear. Most charities will pick it up right off your doorstep. Bag it up already. That extra coat in your closet, gathering dust, could be keeping a homeless person warm.  You get where I am going.  Times are tough for everyone. BUT, if each of us does one thing, anything, we can change a lot of people's lives at Christmas time.  Isn't that what it's all about anyway???  


  1. Wow, reading this was like reliving my past. I remember the christmas that we had a box of gifts on our step and I remember everything I received. Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am now, sometimes we get so caught up in life we forget just how lucky we are.

  2. I'm 10 day's older than you and can't believe what remarkably similar experiences we have had. It's uncanny. Glad I met you at Sea Otter. Have a great holiday and be well.

  3. Gary, I am glad we met too. No wonder we hit it off so well. I remember talking to you for like an hour and then you said " is the BikeShop girl here?", since you stopped by to meet Arleigh. Sorry you didn't get to meet her. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.