Saturday, December 13, 2008

It REALLY is more fun to give than to receive...

Growing up one of my favorite childhood memories was that of our Christmas morning routine.

My sisters and I would awake very early and rush to the family room to see what Santa had left for us while we slept. We would then rummage through our stockings, each sort our presents into piles and spend time shaking and analyzing what might be in each of the many packages Santa had left for us. Once the sun came up, we were allowed to wake my parents. But in my Father's bid to torture tease us, he had this whole routine where he would stretch and yawn for what seemed like hours before budging. Then of course we would have to bring him coffee. And just when we thought we were going to begin opening presents, my Dad would suddenly have a craving for a cookie. My Dad would prolong his morning routine until us kids were bursting with excitement. Only then were we allowed to begin opening presents. As much as we may have acted otherwise, my sisters and I loved this little game.

Who among us does not have a favourite childhood memory of waking up on Christmas morning? A tree that somehow seemed larger than life, presents flowing from beneath its branches and perhaps the wonderful smells of a turkey roasting in the oven. Now try and picture your life void of those memories, try and picture being a child who might not get to know those sights, those smells, that overwhelming, uncontainable joy when Santa's existence is indisputable?

For many children, they do not have to imagine that - they live it.

This year, we have "adopted" a family for the the holidays through our church's affiliation with South Street Ministries. Our adopted family consists of a single mom and her four young children. When the mom approached South Street Ministries for help with Christmas, she was very reluctant to ask for much because she did not want to seem “greedy”, she just wanted to make sure that her kids each had a present to open on Christmas morning. When a family seeks help from South Street, they are asked to complete a Christmas list. The initial wish list the family submitted was somewhat heartbreaking…the 5 year old boy asked for a stocking as he has never had one before, the 3 year old asked for shoes, another child wanted a blanket.


Santa, carrying a sack full of toys and a stocking for each child, accompanied us to meet the family this week. With the help of family and friends we were also able to gather two carloads of used toys, clothes, blankets and household items for the family. The children were ecstatic to not only meet Santa for the first time, but also so thankful for just the used items we brought. The 8 year old girl was literally jumping up and down she was so excited as she came across a Hannah Montana shirt among the clothes we brought her.



We have also collected dozens of new items we are wrapping that will be waiting for the children when they awake Christmas morning. I hope that THIS Christmas will become a favorite childhood memory for our adopted family.

Spending time with those kids jolted me out of my comfort zone into an unfamiliar setting, but I left feeling very good about myself. It's amazing how giving a little to others can be so rewarding for the soul.

Yes, I do have a point to all this. I am challenging everyone who reads this to do something for those less fortunate this holiday season. Whether you donate unneeded household items, give money, volunteer your time, there are many ways to get involved.

Are you a parent reading this? What a great opportunity to teach your children compassion. Together as a family you could decide on a way to help someone else. Maybe your good thing is anonymous. Maybe that family in need doesn't need to know you left the basket of goodies on their porch or put that gift certificate in their mailbox.

It's almost selfish. Why? Because it will make you feel good. It really is more fun to give than it is to receive.

Happy Holidays,






P.S. Thank you to all my special blogging friends for your prayers, kind words, and emails. Kyle spent four days in the hospital on oxygen support,and is at home doing much better now. He ended up having pneumonia, and with his lungs already compromised, it hit him quick and hard. I apologize for not posting an update. The weekend Kyle got sick was the same weekend we adopted our family…losing almost a week's time with Kyle sick and in the hospital really put us in a time crunch. Anyways, thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers and I am sorry for my lack of updates.

44 comments:

Sarah said...

I am so so glad to hear that Kyle is doing better - that must have been so so scary!

I too have been trying to pay it forward this season and I agree - it IS better to give than to receive!!

Fire Hunt said...

I am so glad to hear that Kyle is doing good. We also adopted a family and we had fun doing it to giveing is fun.

Stephanie said...

How wonderful that you adopted a family! We have done that in the past at work! What a wonderful feeling!
I'm so glad to hear Kyle is doing better!

Stephanie said...

You are so inspiring, did you know that? Truly you are blessing to this world.

I am so glad that Kyle is better. I was getting a bit worried since we hadn't heard anything. I hope you guys have a very Merry Christmas!

OHmommy said...

What a beautiful thing to do this holiday season.

So glad Kyle is doing better and our fathers could be the best of friends. LOL. Mine does the same.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

That is such a neat idea--bless y'all you are doing a great thing!

I am happy to hear Kyle is doing better. He's been in my prayers.

krissy said...

Oh. Thank Goodness Kyle is okay. That is very scary though. Poor boy.

I love your challenge. I am happy to report that I already helped out a friend by buying her kids their Christmas presents. She is struggling and worried her kids wouldn't have any presents. I couldn't allow that to happen and it felt terrific. And the best part is....no one has to know I helped her. Her kids, ex husband, nobody knows. She feels very grateful and I feel exilerated.

Kellan said...

This is always so wonderful to help needy families during the holidays - we do this through the kids' schools!

So glad Kyle is okay - I had pneumonia this past spring and was in the hospital for 11 days - can be so serious!

Take care and have a good week - Kellan

La Familia Garcia said...

Thanks for sharing this memory!
Glad things are going well again with Kyle. What a great reminder of the King we serve and his care for us!

E and T said...

What a relief to hear that Kyle is much better now.

I agree, Christmas is all about giving and helping others.

Your actions and kindness will surely be treasured by your adopted family for years to come.

Elise

Suzanne said...

So glad for your son.
And what a wonderful lesson adopting a family is for ypur children.

Anonymous said...

That is great! I am so happy he is feeling better!!

How are Brielle and Rylee Doing?
PLEASE update on them! (and you guys!)

Hi, I'm Amber. said...

I'm so glad to hear that Kyle is feeling better. My son had to stay in the hospital for 4 days last January for RSV. It was so scary!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer, I just found your blog because of my son, John... He passed away right after he was born, last night because of PPROM... at 27 weeks. You are very lucky that Kyle is so healthy!
Sue
susan.smith128@yahoo.com

Kellan said...

Hi Jennifer - Happy New Year to you and your family! I hope to see lots of you in 2009! Take care - Kellan

Mandy said...

I've debated for ages... do we do something local or in another country? Do you think local is better? I'd love to get your thoughts: mandy dot eagles at donatgroup dot com.

4funboys said...

I'm so glad your Kyle is better. My Kyle was in the hospital over the holidays a few years ago and it changed us forever. Makes you more appreciative, and brings to mind how important it is to cherish each moment.

We took presents to the little girl in my class whose mother died unexpectedly a few weeks ago. Amazing feeling to give, especially to someone who needs so much!

andreawilliams said...

How are things going with Kyle now?

andreawilliams said...

How are things going with Kyle now?

La Familia Garcia said...

Just checking back to see how things are! BUT it's completely ok if your on blogging break!! =)

Mrs. Heather said...

thanks for visiting my upholstery blog :0) darling family!

LaskiGal said...

Saw that you commented on another blog and had to come by and check to see how you and the family are. I hope Kyle is doing better and of course, that the rest of you are well.

No pressure to update. Just know there are a quite a few of us out here thinking of you all.

Twinkletoes said...

Hoping everything is ok...

Shauna said...

I'm new here! What a great blog :)

Stephanie said...

Just checking on you...its been over 2 months! lol
Hope the kiddos are doing good and you are back to blogging soon!
Miss you!

Fire Hunt said...

We have missed you I hope all is good!

careysue said...

Checking in to see if all is well!!

Haven't forgotten about you...I've taken a break from blogging as well. Hope to hear from you soon!

Heather said...

You are listed on the blog list of Angie at Keep Believing. You know that she lost her husband to cancer on March 17. Angie and Brian would have celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary on April 19. I am hoping that I can get everyone in her blog list to post on their blogs at 12:00 am on April 19 a post with the title “Keep Believing” so that when she opens her blog, her blog list is filled with recent posts all titled “Keep Believing”. I don’t know how else to arrange this other than commenting on blogs, so forgive my off-topic comment. I would ask that you keep the post up for 24 hours in case she doesn’t look right away, and you don’t have to publish anything with it, just the title will do. I am using the scheduled post feature provided by blogger so I don’t forget. Thanks so much. Heather.

OHmommy said...

Hey girlfriend. You won the tickets to the play on my blog. Send me an email with your address.

Congrats!

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