Tuesday, November 24, 2009

French Onion Soup

With the biggest days of holiday shopping upon us, when all of our weekends are filled with not only shopping but pageants, family celebrations, decorating and all the hoopla that comes with it I find myself coming up short on the holiday spirit. Don't get me wrong, I love the upcoming season, I am married to someone that might just be related to the mighty elf, the man loves Christmas so much.
This year though, I find I am overwhelmed by the disparity between news reports of where the best sales are and the hottest toys and other reports on how poorly the economy is doing, how needy the food shelves are, the overflowing homeless shelters, and tremendous shortages all charities are experiencing. What can I do? How can I help? Are there opportunities out there for me to get involved and find a way that I can share the message of giving and sharing with our children. At 7 years old I know Monica understands that other kids aren't going to have Christmas holiday's like we do. I think Norah, at 4 knows that some kids don't have coats or mittens.
I saw an open invite from an old friend of mine on Facebook the other day, and was so impressed and moved by her efforts I got teary eyed. She is hosting a day for people to get together and make mittens to donate to Catholic Charities. No experience needed! Last year they made over 165 mittens. What an impact! I couldn't help but wonder what impact she is having on her own children in teaching them to share their own gifts. Even more she was using social networking to do good! Hooray!
So I'm going, with my lack of mitten making experience, and I am going to take my daughters, and we are going to try our hands (punny, right?) at mitten making.
Beyond that I am open to suggestions for family-friendly ways to give and share for the next weeks and beyond. I have a feeling that is a sure way to restore my waning Christmas spirit, and keep me off the naughty list.


shana said...

We always give a gift to charity in place of tangible, wrapped up gifts to many of the people on our list . . . our favorite is the Children's Shelter of Cebu (www.cscshelter.org).
Happy Holidays to you!

Brian Ernste said...

My in-laws and I are skipping the annual "White Elephant" gift exchange this year and using that money to purchases items for the local Crisis Nursery (local charity sort of like a food shelf- except for families with kids- giving them diapers, formula, clothes, outerwear, etc)

It's become too easy for us to all go home after the holidays with those "things" that none of us really need (or sometimes want). We hope to do our part by using our resources to help others. I know it's not much, but it does make you realize that people, sometimes your next door neighbor, needs your help.

I am sure Grandma Rita would be proud of you!!

K. Ecoff said...

We brought a couple of plates of Christmas cookies to a homeless shelter last December and they were greatly appreciated. This was something that my 4 year old (3 at the time) was able to help with and we talked about helping others and donating these cookies to people who didn't always have cookies.

Sheridan said...

Thanks for the ideas. The Christmas cookie idea would be an awesome one and we'll be making cookies anyway, definitely enough to share. There is a shelter right near Rory's work too.
Brian - That is a really cool way to reach out to others and change the focus from gifts to giving, I know we've both been very blessed with wonderful families. Thank you for your kind words!