Christmas time has a tendency to drive me absolutely insane. It seems like it is so busy and that nobody really gets a chance to enjoy it. Drew and I have had to merge both of our family's Christmas activities together and it seems like nobody (our parents and even ourselves) is willing to give. We want to continue doing exactly what we did pre-marriage even though its really not possible.
All the shopping wears me out. I feel like half the time I don't even know what to buy people. This year I think that I've done a good job, but buying for people that you don't really know is hard because you just don't know what to buy and if they'll even like/use what you've bought.
Stress... Drew and I have stressed completely. Between Callie and the normal holiday anxiety, it has been kind of tense at our house. Trying to keep everybody happy. Trying to not make the in-laws upset about one thing or another. Trying to be 15 places at once.
But what I need to really try and focus on is how lucky I am. I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and (multiple) warm coats. There are so many people in the world who do not have those luxuries.
My post from yesterday had pictures of me reading a Christmas story to about 60 kindergartners. These children come from one probably the lowest income school in the BG City School System. They come to the bank once a year and we throw them a Christmas party complete with Christmas stories, snacks, and a visit from Santa Claus including a small gift. Let me tell you about a couple of the stories that I heard about after they left:
- A set of twin girls. One of my co-workers saw these two blond headed little girls playing in the street in the cold. He was driving, stopped and turned his car around, and told his son that they were going to do something for this family for Christmas. Turns out there is at least one older child (maybe two, I can't remember) and that the children were basically on their own, fending for themselves. The parents are idiots and not really in the picture.
- A boy who seemed to have some sort of mental disability. Apparently his great uncle is also his dad. Yes, you read that right. A man impregnated his niece and this boy is the result of that act. Also, this boy lives in a house that is infested with black mold. The boy is continuously sick and the family is about to be evicted.
- This isn't really a story I heard but something I witnessed, one boy was handed his Christmas present and when they were told that they would open them, he didn't know what to do with it. He sat and looked at the box. Turned it from side to side. His teach finally had to open the end of the box for him so that he could know what to do with it.
Times are hard my friends, but they will never get any easier for these children. How do children like these step out of this cycle in an attempt to better themselves? Do they even know that there are things that are better? Do they think that its attainable? I don't know.
I just know that they sure made me thankful for the opportunities that I have to take care of my family and in the spirit of Christmas, they made me thankful for the opportunities that I am given that allow me to be charitable.