Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When Christmas Becomes the Season of Need

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It isn't often that I write about my inner most guts. I share thoughts, stories, impressions and a soap box every now and then, but not usually the softest spots. Disagreements with my husband, those private moments of personal failure, the worries that wake me up in the middle of the night...for all that I freely write about on this blog there is always an element of privacy maintained. The parts of me that necessarily must remain my own.

And yet I was awake in the middle of the night feeding my baby and the need to do something felt overwhelming. So, this is me and something of my private life reaching out to all of you.

You see, I have a friend who is near to my heart and her little family is struggling. Her husband was laid off the Monday after Thanksgiving with no warning. This family lives humbly during the best of times and so I am watching from the sidelines as they prepare to plumb their reserves and stretch themselves however they can to Make Ends Meet during this holiday season.

My friend is the kind of stalwart and proud mother that puts tears in my eyes. We will figure it out, she reassured me. (I love that she was the one reassuring me!).  Besides, she continued, my children are just old enough to understand the mechanics of Santa Claus. So, we sat them down and explained our situation, helped them to understand that we'd do stockings, but not Santa this year.

I almost believed her stoicism, right up until the moment her voice cracked.

Well, that's when I started to unravel because the truth is that I'm actually not quite old enough to do without Santa Claus. So the thought of children being shown the budget spread sheets and digesting the reality of what it means to have an empty cupboard at Christmas time was a little too much.

Obviously there is need all around us. This week I've emptied my wallet multiple times, for church sponsored projects, school drives, and again for the bell ringers outside the grocery store. For many of you that need is in your own homes and undoubtedly more palpable this time of year. But for me, this situation feels different because it is happening to one of my own. It is a friend I care about and respect, it is someone whom I can't stand to see whittled down by circumstance. While I'm sure there will be other friends or family who like me, are reaching out to this family, I invite you to join the effort. I've asked a mutual acquaintance (a trust worthy soul) to be the intermediary as to protect the privacy of the family. Please send a gift card (no cash or checks) to:

Santa Glidewell
1317 Royal St. George Drive
Naperville, IL

Isn't it funny how your heart calms and your very soul relaxes when you feel that you are doing something. Even if I can't fix it, even if I can't take the hardship away, I can do my best to restore joy to someone else's season of need.

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