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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Don't fuss Dear

So there I was, pouting at work about my hard life and how bored I was standing in the empty fitting room without any customers to keep me busy. 

Then I remembered... on my way to work this morning I was listening to my regular morning show, who were broadcasting from the Road Home (homeless shelter in Salt Lake City). They said there were ONE HUNDRED kids sleeping there last night. I've been to the Road Home before, and there were people on cots lining the walls, trying to get some sleep. It was by no means quiet, but there are just simply not enough rooms for all the people who need a warm place to sleep. Most of them didn't have blankets, just cots to lay on in the middle of the bright, rowdy hallway. Anyway, this morning on the radio they were asking people to come donate unopened toys, money, gift cards, and warm clothes to the Candy Cane Corner (where the people can shop for things they need the week before Christmas). They are extremely short on supplies they need in order to be sure everyone receives something for Christmas. 

I only have two pairs of pajamas hanging in my closet waiting to be donated. Last year I was able to collect a dozen or so to give, but this year I don't know anyone who is in a position to give. This makes me sad, but I completely understand. I'm not exactly in a position to be buying anything extra either. 

But what's extra? 

I realized, while I stood there with nothing to do but think, that my kids are getting spoiled rotten for Christmas this year. I was able to buy them a few reasonable gifts, their grandmas give them money and gifts... they will be overwhelmed with STUFF. While one hundred kids sit in the Salt Lake shelter with MAYBE one gift that wasn't even specifically chosen for them? How is that right? We don't have a lot, but we have some, and that's more than some people have. 

I started thinking of the things we could do without... I bought my kids 2 pairs of pajamas for Christmas. Do they need them both? Are there any toys I bought that we could just give to the shelter instead? I bought a little pair of warm socks and a pair of warm slippers that were on clearance...

About twenty minutes later I realized something else. 

I was smiling. 

I felt like the Grinch, surprised by my own joy at giving to others. I started to get excited about Christmas in a whole different way. My kids need the experience of giving to others who have less than them, and I'm embarrassed that this just now popped into my head, four days before Christmas. 

If you want to donate anything (warm clothing, new toys, etc.), let me know so I can include it when I deliver my little donation.

“It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it.'” -Audrey Hepburn
(For my original post about this year's donation, go here.) 

4 comments:

  1. Just reading this made me a little bit happier! Merry Christmas!

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  2. Hooray! I'm glad it's helped someone feel Christmas spirit. :) Merry Christmas to you, Russell!

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  3. beautiful post. And so true, that we should think about those who are in need about ourselves.

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  4. That's wonderful, wonderful. I really need to get into the donation spirit. (But I am selfish and think that buying gifts for family I don't really like is donation enough:)))

    You're wonderful.

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