Every year, the Santa Claus Parade kicks off the Season. Nothing puts you more in the Christmas Spirit than watching all the pretty floats skillfully decorated and, of course, seeing Santa arrive in our streets.
This year, for the first time, I walked — or rather ran– in the parade and it was such a blessing to see all the people anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa. Kids and adults alike had sparkles in their eyes and were enjoying the music, lights and festive mood.
Christmas is a joyous time. It is a time for us to gather together, eat, drink and be merry. It is a time where we get to spoil one another in the hopes of showing our feelings, our appreciation, our gratitude to each other. Of course, the gifts are but a token, a symbol and regardless of the size, or the cost, they all mean the same: we are loved.
Unfortunately, not everybody goes through this time of year the same way. Many are alone. Many are ill. Many are poor. Many are cold. Some can’t afford toys. Some can’t even afford food.
Thankfully, many organizations, like the Children’s Christmas Fund, have programs in place to try and help the less fortunate with going through this challenging time of the year.
This year, some 1300 local families will receive Christmas Baskets. In additions to all the ingredients required to make a good traditional Christmas dinner like potatoes, stuffing and turkey, the basket also contains much needed every day items such as milk, eggs, cereal and of course, some toys for the kids. Olympia Bowl and Nativity Bowl are holding the Cereal Drive this year. You can drop boxes at those two locations today. Also, the Optimist Toy Drive is ongoing. Contact the Optimist club to donate toys or visit their website to get more information.
Everybody can help and no donation is too small. Last Sunday, I held the Very BIG Christmas Show at the Civic Complex. Partial proceeds of the event was donated the the Christmas Children’s Fund to help in their efforts to feed and bless 1300 families this year. It’s a small donation, but I hope it helps buy a few turkeys.
And on the 20th, I will be at the armories helping sort out toys and distribute items. I invite you to do the same.
A good friend of mine, a champion volunteer, told me earlier this week that he didn’t know if he does what he does to help others or to help himself. I know exactly what he means. Because when you really think about it, giving of yourself can be so rewarding that the line between what you give and what you get becomes really faint.