I know that all of you know that the best gifts we can get are loving families, health, and peace, but it is also a season for giving. Any of you who work in a business or office knows there is pressure to exchange gifts, which make that a stressful and not happy time. We decided to say “stop” and instead to try and make the holiday of a family who has needs beyond what the parents can provide.
For the past several years our combined Signature Needle Arts and Bothe Associates – http://bothe.com/ – companies have worked with the Sharing Center: http://www.thesharingcenter.net/ They have many, many families who might not have a great holiday without a little help from “Secret Santas”.
In earlier years they sent us a list from a small family who were treated to unbelievable Christmases. The Sharing Center was set up with tables with several family numbers (no names for privacy) when the gifts were delivered. Our family had a whole table to itself! The new director now sends us a large family with large needs and everyone here is generous beyond belief.
This year we were given a family with 6 boys! As usual the parents always say “nothing for us – make it special for our children”. That is the message we get year after year and it has such a huge effect that the parents always get many gifts. We even wrap their gifts so that they have surprises too. As Laura said yesterday, “No one should have to wrap their own presents”.
As the days have gone by and our conference room had more and more presents, every single person commented on how wonderful it was to be part of the true spirit of Christmas. We had boxes with the age of each boy and the 5 year old had only a few things. An email went out and within 2 days his box was overflowing.
Today Laura and Paul drove the shop van out to the Sharing Center. Everyone here had a smile on their faces no matter how much they contributed.
Many of us are shopping for our own families and sometimes that can seem like a task not a pleasure but something different happens when we shop for “our” family. Folks here say it is just different and has a level of joy that is the real meaning of Christmas.
I have told this story before but I think it is okay to repeat: A few years ago when I was buying at Kohl’s I mentioned to the cashier what the purpose of my shopping was. The woman behind me came up to me and said that she had had a terrible year and all Christmas spirit had disappeared. She went on to say that hearing what I had told the cashier about the needs of our family and what our office was doing had done something to her soul and that she was feeling the spirit return. If you are religious or not, that can’t help but move you.
No matter what holiday you are celebrating, everyone here wishes every one of you a touch of the spirit we have had here. And, of course, a wish for a healthy 2018 with lots of knitting!