Monday, December 10, 2012

What Christmas is all About <3

Being that I am a considerably good person, I decided to volunteer at a "lunch with Santa" event. This was where underprivileged kids, who are living in high risk situations, get to go and have lunch with Santa Claus.

I know it's sweet, I volunteered with the children, BUT, here's the catch...

......I am a HUGE germaphobic! And as I was walking into the venue, where the event was held, I kept thinking "Oh my God....lot's of little kids means LOT'S of little germs. Pretty pretty please have there be a small, and hygienic turnout!!! But sure enough, my hopes were contradicted when the largest group, of the germiest 3-5 year olds I had ever seen, ran through the doors (300 of them to be exact).

Then it was time to get down to business....
I introduced myself to some of the kids, who were going to be sitting at my table.
Let's just say it was a bit of a shaky start......
One kid was throwing crayons, another was screaming, a few were sneezing and coughing, one was crying.....someone bring in the Advil please!
But then this one little boy came over to the table and sat down next to me. Putting on my cheesiest grin I introduced myself and asked him his name. No response, just a blank stare. I soon found out from a staff member that he didn't speak any English. So, I took the plunge, risking looking or sounding ridiculous, and began to put those three years of high school Spanish to good use! And guess what? By some miracle it worked.
Slowly but surely I got used to these little germy creatures (whom I was finding to be quite adorable), when the highlight of my day happened, Santa walked in. Their awe struck faces lit up, as they clapped their hands with delight to see this jolly old man from the North Pole.  Watching them, I sat thinking "wow, look at how happy they are, and how much joy they old people need to start being more like that"!
Talk about an eye opener AND a magical experience all jumbled into one!

Now, here comes the emotional part....
We took the kids up in small groups to go sit on Santa's lap. There, they told Santa what they wanted for Christmas. With a glowing smile, Santa would then reach over into his big red bag and pulled out a brightly wrapped present, just for them. I almost cried when I saw how happy they were to unwrap, and find, that one, special present that they had wanted and asked for.
Knowing the harshness of these children's situations, the other volunteers, and I, were told that this was probably going to be the only Christmas present that they will receive this season.

That got me thinking......
Why can't we be as joy filled as children?  How is it that as we have grown up, we seem to have lost the "magical" aspect of Christmas that the children always see? Why are the gifts such a big deal? (I know if we only got one gift for Christmas, we'd think it was a joke, and be filled with disappointment). And finally, how come we overlook being grateful for the small things?

I don't really have an answer to any of these actually, that's something you're going to have to ask yourselves. But here's what I do know,
  • We need to find joy in everything.
  • Stop! For just a second to find the magic in each and every moment!
  • Always keep a child-like and playful spirit.
  • Be grateful for everything. Seriously you are blessed!!!
  • Remember that presents come from the heart (including banana bread in a jar ;) ), and quantity and size doesn't matter.
  • Keep an open mind and a loving heart.

This holiday season try to bring joy to someone in need. Whether it's through a gift, donation, or even a smile, it could mean the world to them. Plus there's a perk for you too! You'll feel classy inside and out!

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