I stopped into a store two weeks ago to pick up some things for LittleBrother’s first birthday party. You know, the party that I spent too much money on a cake for and that he won’t ever remember? Yes, that one. (It was lovely, by the way!) On my way out, I stopped to look at the tree on which names of local children are posted with things that they have asked for this holiday season.
I was considering getting the name of a boy child around the age of my boys so that:
- I would know what they like.
- TheBrothers, or, at the very least, the older one, could be involved in the process.
- I’m better with boy things than girl things, let’s be honest.
As I was standing there looking at the tags on the tree, a little girl around the age of nine ran up to the tree. I didn’t think anything of it for a few seconds. She then proclaimed, “I wonder where my name is!” She then began reading the cards, looking for her name.
I’ll admit that I was a bit taken aback though, in all honesty, I don’t know why. Perhaps it is because these children in need are “anonymous” on the tree and, therefore, don’t “really” exist in our own community, right? Surely, surely everyone in our city will receive gifts from their family, right? I mean, everyone gets a Christmas, don’t they?
I smiled down at her as an adult hastily retrieved her, mumbling an apology to me. Again, taken aback, I didn’t think to ask the little girl what her name was and I regret that lack of quickness on my part. She looked like a Sarah to me. All the same, the moment has stuck with me.
Much like my positive post yesterday about the things I love about our house (which could have been longer but much more boring), I have been very (positively!) overwhelmed since that day with one little factoid: we will be having a Christmas. And not even a Christmas in which we are “cutting back” as many families keep talking about (though I attribute that point more to the fact that I started purchasing Christmas gifts in August, set a budget and stuck to it and less to an overabundance of funds… trust me). The boys are receiving a normal number of gifts. FireDad is receiving a normal number of gifts. Our family members are receiving gifts. We will be having a Christmas Eve ham followed by a trip to church (where I will sing “O Holy Night” this year). We will return home to open Christmas Eve presents (matching jammies, a movie and a book for bed). And we will wake up on Christmas morning to all the same magic as ever.
And my run-in with the little girl whom I simply assume to be a Sarah has made me aware of how truly blessed we are in these ways. As I pondered what her Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning will be like, my heart broke. For her and for the hundred other children whose names hung on that tree. What will they receive? Will they know the magic that is Christmas? Will anyone simply give them love if presents are unavailable? My mind rolled over these questions and many more. What can I do to give someone else a bit of the magic this year? (And, so, yes, I got a child’s name. There were, however, no Sarahs on the tree when I returned. I hope someone else has picked her name, whatever it may be.)
As a family, FireDad and I have realized how truly blessed we are this year. Sometimes we feel a bit guilty. But we are still blessed, still happy in the fact that we will be having a Christmas this year. We are also pleased to be donating all of our newborn and small-baby items to a new local group dedicated to helping young and single mothers on their feet. We are also pleased to be giving some small boy a Christmas wish. We are also pleased to be teaching these boys of ours the true meaning of Christmas and how to share that meaning with others through our actions.
Life is good when you can have any kind of Christmas.
(Speaking of having a Christmas, be sure to read the blog tomorrow. Trust me.)