Thursday, October 25, 2012

Our Christmas Tradition

Last Christmas Georgia got a Power Wheels from Santa Clause. Santa got the Power Wheels from Craigslist. Even though it ran, the battery definitely needed to be replaced.

We had spent the night at my parents house Christmas Eve and opened presents there Christmas morning. After breakfast we decided to head back home and possibly see if Wally World was open to replace the battery. It's strange that some businesses are still open on Christmas.

Walmart, however, was not open. Something caught my eye though. In this massively huge shopping center, between the gap of big box stores, there was gathering of people. As we drove through the vast empty lot, I noticed the grungy clothes, tattered jeans, and heaps of blankets, sleeping bags, and filled shopping carts. It was a pretty big group of homeless people.

My city is not fairly large, and it verges on being yuppy. We do get our fair share of homeless people, but I had not seen as many gathered together as I did this Christmas morning.

Although I am in sunny So Cal, this particular Christmas morning was very cold. Their breaths were still steamy on the air. They were wrapped in blankets and jackets, some even standing outside the shaded overhang, away from the group to soak up the morning sun. They appeared to be enjoying each other's company. And as odd and stupid as it sounds, I thought to myself, they must know it's Christmas. Are they celebrating?

I then realized we were in this parking lot looking to buy a battery for my 3 year old on Christmas morning. She had no concept who these people were. She had no concept she just got a big slightly expensive present.

I had spent most of my pre-Christmas shopping listening to the gluttony of other Christmas shoppers, my own extended family included. Santa had purchased most of his presents from thrift stores and Craigslist for our kids. And yet, the Christmas feeling had me still feeling sour. Immediately, in the parking lot, the idea struck me!  I was going to bring Christmas to the homeless!

As a young family, we have not established our Christmas traditions. When I was a child, we played with our new toys all day, excitedly waiting to go to each grandparents house for another round of paper shredding. As I got older, I always wondered why my parents dolled out so much. It was nice, but definitely not necessary.

So that Christmas, 2011, I envisioned a dream. Next Christmas I was going to pack my kids up on Christmas morning and we are going to give Christmas presents to our local homeless. As a SAHM, I am asking for donations of socks, toothpaste, tooth brushes, chocolates, and deodorant, including monetary donations.I hope to bake enough packages of warm cinnamon rolls and possibly borrow some thermoses for warm coffee to be handed out.

I'm not asking for a lot. Only $150. I know I could probably raise the funds between now and Christmas by myself, but I would love this to be about community. And I invite those around me to come and share in our tradition on Christmas morning.

Here's the link if you want to help. I'm sorry if this post is so poorly written. Sometimes sharing your dreams is rushed between crying babies and tantrum throwing 2 year olds.


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