My oldest daughter, Mary Jo, is a social worker in a poverty level school district. A few weeks before Christmas she identified several families, one of them traumatically numbed by recent personal tragedy, who would be unable to provide gifts for their children. Mary Jo coordinated a lovely "gift-giving party" with a friend to secure donations, and then gave up the first full day of her holiday break to "drive all over the place" collecting more toys to deliver to the families. I am so proud of her....mostly because the people I respect most in this world are those who see a need or an injustice and take immediate action to resolve it - instead of just gaping and whining that "somebody" should doooooo something about that. God Bless you, Mary Jo!
I am proud that I live only a mile away from the K-Mart where this year's national "Secret Lay-Away Santa" phenomenon began with the caring act of one generous lady. I only wish that kind lady had been me.
This year, as in every other for each of the past ten, my friend and neighbor, Lily, along with one or both of her twins, Nick and Rebecca, rang our doorbell in the afternoon on Christmas Eve day and presented us with a sparkling bag of homemade pretzel treats. Whether it was the traditional chocolate dipped sticks smothered in festive holiday sprinkles or this year's caramel topped squares, it has been so much fun adding these delightful treats to the snack table on Christmas Day! And opening the door to the happy faces of her beautiful children has always been like taking a step back into the past, where thoughtful neighbors never hesitated to personally bring unexpected joy right up to your front porch instead of simply and impersonally "forwarding" it by email! What a lovely family tradition of pretzel-making team work and neighborly Christmas spirit Lily has modeled. No wonder her kids are so terrific! And, once again, I wish I had thought of doing that!
Last Friday, I loved being part of a thirty minute Christmas eve wait in line at the express check out of our neighborhood grocery store! No, that was not a typo! I loved it! I loved the way the young man in front of me, the senior lady behind me and I bonded while sharing our stories of what we had to have so badly that we would endure that long wait in line! I loved how the young man gave "cuts" to a slightly confused elderly gentleman who clutched a one pound box of sugar - and how everyone else behind him smiled their approval - and especially how no one wanted to beat him up or pepper spray him! I love how I live in this community, the one where "the K-Mart lady," Mary Jo, Lily, Nick, Rebecca and that friendly young man also reside. Next year, I am going to do something nice and unexpected for someone else - the same way those people routinely seem to do, without even giving it a second thought! And my idea better be a pretty darn good one - I have a whole year ahead of me to plan it!
Finally, from the department of "The Truth Always Comes Out".....it is time to announce the name of the culprit who really ate the cookies Brielle made for daddy at Grandma's 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Party!...introducing...PUMBA!
|Christmas cookies? Missing? Really?|
You mean little frosted trees with silver sprinkles?
Santa boots with coconut cuffs?
Red and green stars?
Those kinds of cookies? They're missing?