Posted by: ClewisWrites | December 18, 2011

The True Holiday Spirit

Seven days from today, I will be surrounded by wrapping paper, new toys, and the smell of Christmas brunch cooking.  I almost wish it were tomorrow.  Not because I want it to be over though, but because I really haven’t been this excited for Christmas since I was probably 7 years old. Lil really gets Christmas this year and it’s the first Christmas in a while that we are able to really get in the spirit of the season.

When I was seven, I remember wanting nothing more than the Barbie 6 o’clock News Set.

It was perfect.  It had a little back drop with the screen where you could show the news story and even had a whiteboard piece where you could write your own story. It also had the news desk with microphones and little pens that Barbie and Ken could not possibly hold due to the fact that their little plastic fingers did not bend.  Chairs like little directors chairs and office chairs and a  huge tv camera completed the “News Studio.”   I wanted it so badly.  I remember one night my mom (and maybe my dad but I honestly don’t remember him there) took us out for some last-minute shopping.  We went down the toy aisle and I begged her for it.  I was making promises to clean my room and keep it clean. Promising not to fight with my brothers, to cook dinner, to do anything to get that play set.   She told me that maybe Santa would bring it but she was not buying it for me.  However, we did buy one.  We bought one for Toys for Tots.

 At first, I remember being confused by it.  How could there be little boys and girls who don’t get toys?  Doesn’t Santa bring them toys? Were they naughty and that’s why Santa skipped them? It made no sense to me.  I don’t really remember how my mom explained it to me but I do remember feeling badly for those little boys and girls who didn’t get new toys at Christmas.   I remember the feeling of putting that Barbie 6 o’clock News play set into the Toys for Tots bin and imagining a girl like me who would open it and love it as much as I would love it.  It felt good.

Every year, I make sure to buy at least one gift for this organization that does so much good.  Even this year, when I am being very aware of that number in the bank account, it is one small thing I can do to brighten the life of a child who is not as fortunate as my own.  And if that one toy can help them find something good in the world, then that is all we can hope for.

As you’re out shopping this last week of Christmas, and if you haven’t already done so, you might want to pick up a small gift.  Doesn’t have to be anything flashy.  It can be a pretty Barbie, a small race car, a dolly, an action figure – something you loved as a child – and buy it.  Drop it in the bin or bring it to a local collection point (I think you have until Tuesday 12/20/11 to do it).  Or just make a gift on their website.

If you want to really capture that lost holiday spirit, do something truly generous.  Whether it be Toys for Tots, a donation to your local food pantry, or some random act of kindness like paying for someone’s tank of gas or their Dunkin Donuts drive-thru order, do it.   In a time when funds may be tight, these small acts of kindness really do go a very long way. You will really feel the true meaning of the Christmas spirit and help someone else possibly find it too.

The Ghost of Christmas Present with Ignorance and Want clinging at his robes

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