It is here, that magical, wonderful, hectic time of year called Christmas. I love Christmas and all that comes with it–the songs, smells, food, decorations and the act of giving, presents, time, love and caring. I grew up in the country and have fond memories from when I was a child of caroling on country roads in the back of a hay wagon being pulled by a local farmer’s tractor. One year I remember making stops at a few houses so that my dad could run a bag of groceries up to the front steps. I have always been touched by that small gesture that probably meant a great deal to the person receiving the unexpected gift.
Yesterday I volunteered, not in the food pantry, but in one of the holiday rooms run by the same organization that operates the food pantry. There is a toy room and a clothing room. I was working in the clothing room, sorting and arranging newly arrived donations. We oohed and aahed over cute outfits, soft pajamas, warm jackets and this rocking pair of purple boots! As with the night caroling, I was struck by the realization of how much these items will mean to the children receiving them on Christmas morning. I am glad this organization and many others like it exist and I am gratified to assist them.
As they year comes to an end I find myself reflecting on all that I have experienced and learned over this past year. I am grateful for all the gifts this year’s journey has given me. I have met many wonderful people and heard numerous stories of people persevering through inconceivably heartbreaking experiences. I have seen smiles of thanks and gratitude and tears shed by people who have all but given up hope. Through it all I have been uplifted and inspired by their determination to meet the challenges of their lives.
This is my last post of 2015. I am taking some time off to enjoy the holiday with friends and family. I hope you will continue to follow me on this journey in the coming year. I value all the feedback and insight I have received from my readers.