If you’re having a hard time getting into the ho-ho-ho spirit, might I suggest reading this? And, to break your heart, read all the comments, and then the next day’s follow-up.
The short version? There is a Santa Claus, and we are him.
It’s completely draining to read the comments and see all the need—but more than completely inspiring to read a comment from someone just scraping by themselves who wants to GIVE, not receive.
I don’t talk about this much, but I grew up in a young, struggling family. We never wanted for dinner, though, and Christmas somehow always magically happened. Now that I’m an adult? I have no idea how my parents did it.
It looks like things are fairly under control over there at The Bloggess’s site (although I’m not sure the Bloggess is getting a break any time soon from all the do-gooding she’s brought on herself), so if any of this inspires you, consider a gift to your local food bank, homeless shelter, or Toys for Tots, so that other kids can have Christmas, too.
Below are a couple of links for charities that have good support ratios (they give out most of the money you give, and don’t have a lot of overhead) and can do a lot with the money you give (the Greater Chicago Food Depository can work up four meals for every single dollar you donate—how amazing is that?). Take a look or search for something in your area.
Toys for Tots
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Also: don’t think that a small gift won’t make a difference. Over at The Bloggess, the people receiving help are getting $30, $40. Doesn’t seem like it could change the world, does it? But it is. Right now, it is. Small amounts do matter. A buck for the bell ringer, or just tip well when you’re out celebrating.
I’m really grateful right now. Not to have, but to be a witness to stuff like this. How lucky are we, really, to have each other?