Christmas Past

With times as tight as they are becoming now, I am remembering Christmases in my past that were very short and nothing was under the tree. It brings to light the person that I have become and why the holidays are so important to me. One christmas we had was because of the Salvation Army, who allowed me to pick out a few gifts while they gave my mother a food basket. One Christmas - was grand, because credit cards found their way into my mothers hands. Later on, it would curse us as she would file for bankruptcy. One Christmas there was nothing but a small tree, my mother choose to drink our chirstmas fund. Our Christmases never were really spectacular. When I started working, they turned out better, but not by much. As I grew older I never really got the feeling of Christmas, I felt like I was a pawn in some monsterous game and that some day it would be true that the Holidays are just for rich people. I only had 15 Christmases with my mother, I moved out and became emancipated when I turned 16. Christmases were better, alot better. I would spend the holidays with one of my teachers family, and just the feeling in the house was amazing. I only received practical gifts, which was fine, from people that did not even really know me, but welcomed me into their house, and with open arms allowed me to feast on their wealth of family. That feeling was so overpowering, like the feeling a person gets from their first hit of acid, or herion, you never forget that feeling. I try to copy it every year, and the feeling I create, though good, is not the same as I felt when I was with this family, until this week. I am a member of a Moose Lodge. We do alot of drinking, playing pool, picnics, and road trips. We also do functions and make money for our lodge(men) and chapter (women). This year, I am the head honchette of the women. I dont know what this means except that I am utterly busy and have no time for myself during the busy periods. I was blessed this year, by a wonderful board and my chairman are the best chairmen I think that we have had in a long time. Anyways, I am getting off track here. The chapter raises money for the children at Mooseheart and we also raise money for in house events. This Christmas we recieved many donations of food and money to give to needy people in our area. We have always helped when we could, and this year being no different we picked 4 families to give to. One of our members, has a neighbor who is married with two children. These children are amazing, so full of grace and heartfelt wonder to them that you dont want to break their hearts or spirit at christmas. The husband is an E4 living in DC and his wife is a stay at home mother who takes care of her children and makes sure that there is a nutritious dinner on the table each and every night. I have met her a few times, and when you see her you know there is nothing in her heart except friendliness and love towards her family and I know that she is making that ultimate decision of whether to pay a bill or to buy a gift for her children for Christmas morning. The chapter agreed that we would give her a monetary donation as well as a food basket filled with food, not just for Christmas dinner but for all days. We also, decided amoungst ourselves that we would take up a donation and buy a gift card for the children so they could have presents. Our little group collected 100 bucks in 10 mimutes for this family. This is what Christmas is all about, and when everyone was putting dollars into a bucket that night, that was when I had that same overpowering feeling I had when I felt the warmth and love from people I did not know. I learned that the feeling does come back... when you are ready to let it in...

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