17 Dec
2014
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The Christmas Gift of a Good Day

The only things missing from today were rainbows and unicorns. Every nook and cranny of my day was filled to the brim with goodness. I wish I could bottle this feeling for those days when crawling in bed seems the only viable option. I know I shouldn’t feel the need to apologize or justify my good fortune, but I know others whose day fell far short of anything resembling good. I’ve been stuck in lackluster existence lately. There are too many items clogging my brain. Parenting seems overly taxing these last few weeks. There are health issues and never ending meetings. Today was a reminder that those truly incredible days are out there just waiting to spring their goodness on unsuspecting people dwelling in the trenches of a humdrum life.

Grocery cart full of presents for a boy

This is the last week before Christmas break for our children. I’d already absolved myself of any guilt stemming from my choice to help with school activities today and attend a Christmas party tonight. Today wasn’t about lists. Tonight, mom was off-duty, regardless of the activities still on the schedule. This day was about giving my time to help spread Christmas cheer. I received much more than I gave.

The school my younger boys attend raised over $830 in a Pennies for Presents drive. The idea was students, staff and families would bring in mostly coins for one month, and the money raised would go to purchase Christmas gifts for families in need. I spent a majority of my morning with six 4th grade boys and a list of items needed for a little boy. The students I was with were thoughtful about their purchases and voted on what would ultimately be wrapped and placed under a tree. A stranger handed over $20 for the cause. The students wrapped piles of presents — some of the kids learning a new skill in the process. The excitement was palpable.

Wrapped Christmas presents sitting on a table

I had time to make a quick stop in a store I’ve been meaning to go into for weeks. On my way out, I spotted a police officer talking with a woman who looked concerned. As I passed by, I heard him explain an anonymous donor had given our local police department money to be given randomly to people around town. She was one of the recipients. I hurried faster to my car, so I could cry in the comfort of my vehicle. I was overwhelmed by all the good I’d witnessed and been part of that day. My heart was so full that shedding tears was the only way to keep it from bursting.

Meeting the needs emotionally, spiritually, physically and monetarily of four children is difficult and sometimes all-consuming. Today, people who could just watch us walk away decided to come alongside one of our children and offer solutions for problems.  I cried then too.

This life is just horrendous, sad, confusing, unthinkable, and shocking at times. There are days I feel beaten down before my feet have even come out of the sheets. The messiness of everyday existence is hard to wade through at times. Then there is today. This day was my Christmas gift. Everything came into focus. For at least today, my heart was light and my shoulders felt unburdened. My Christmas wish is for others to get to bask in the goodness of a day like today.

 

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