kids-christmas-28Kids are the reason for the season aren’t they?

Coming from a large family of twelve brothers and sisters, Christmas time was the best. Although we were struggling to keep the lights on and sometimes toilet paper was a luxury…Heck, the bathroom was a luxury if you could reserve a spot in the morning you were awesome!

By the time it was our turn (my sister and I) the water was cold and the baking soda was just chunks of hard rocks, what toothpaste? We didn’t think anything about it, we never questioned, “We could have toilet paper or toothpaste”? We just went with what we had, and happy if we did get toothpaste. Okay we had toilet paper MOST of the time. I hear in third world countries they don’t have these things either, not even toilets, just holes in the ground and get along just fine. Well I didn’t know I was raised in a third world country inside America. I thought everyone used baking soda? I was cool and green, before it was cool to be green. We also had a solar dryer, a clothes line & pins, and knew how to work it.

I will never forget every Christmas, hearing that hard banging on the door, opening up to men carrying in bushels of apples and boxes of food with toilet, paper dish soap and other wonderful goodies. They were called the Good-fellows (how appropriate). Then there were the gifts, so what if they were old hats and gloves gently and not so gently used, they were new to us and we loved them. It beat wearing dads old socks on your hands (the snow came right thru those suckers, plus they had stains on the bottoms). I was never ashamed to wear someone else’s hand-me-downs, in fact very grateful.

Many kids today still live like this believe it or not, and right here in America. We don’t see it unless we are living in it. These people are not reading blogs that’s for sure. So what can we do, especially at Christmas time? It’s our job to seek out these suffering kids and families, lend them a hand and let ’em know someone has got their back.

Church is a good place to start. They are well aware of the people who suffer in their community, and they will give you their names and numbers to contact. Or you can just adopt a family anonymously for Christmas.  I like this idea because it was something that helped us get through times of hardship. You can also go to the local YMCA, Food Bank or take a ride though the poorer side of town there are needs everywhere. Children need to be treated special, especially at Christmas time. This will help build their self worth and value. When a child is left out or doesn’t get much in material gifts, they feel unworthy or that maybe something is wrong with them, that only others are worth getting cool stuff (I know this feeling it sucks).  This can create alcoholics, substance abusers and worse, criminals.

Lifting up your fellow human (the kids) gives us opportunities to change a part of the world, for those of us who have the means to do it, we must do it. I once was lost too, but now I have found that I have the power to change the direction of of someones life, like those Good fellas did for us. Boy did we eat apples until spring, sometimes summer. Coming from having the bare minimum in the land of plenty and learning that its okay and adversity certainly does build character, I am happy to be a part of the solution. I hear Americans are the best givers, I am proud to be among these people! Lets give to the kids, you never know who you may touch or who they may become, because of your help and Love!

Happy Merry Wonderful Christmas!

From a Goodfella (gal)