For those who’ve known me the longest, I do not like knickknacks. Gifted to an unsuspected audience, they are dust collectors – all. On the flipside – I love finding a perfect little something for someone special, and have cackled with the best of ‘em at the big unveil each birthday or Christmas!
When our mom passed away, our family spent an entire year clearing a lifetime of personal property, crafts and you guessed it – knickknacks. As heart wrenching as that was, we found ourselves repeating her most common phrase, in ‘doing what we had to do’.
In the Writers group a few years later, one of the topics was bread. Flipping ideas around, I chose to reference bread as money, using terms like clams, bacon, or smackers and it reminded me of something. Many years ago, I headed out to a corner store for some corn syrup and was met with someone who appeared to be down-on-their-luck, trying to purchase a can of tomato soup with 55 cents.
The state of the person’s dress was not lost on me. The very next day, I met up with them again at the Agapé drop box as they placed something inside. I thought, how someone with so little, could give so much.
With that vision as guide, I became a Kris Kringle overnight. Loading up on supplies, I baked hundreds of refrigerator cookies; gifting them to people from all walks of life. My criteria, was a no-strings-attached invitation to pay-it-forward. The reward for me and (hopefully) someone else was to realize the impact one human being, can have on another.
Since that snowy night 25 years ago, the world has gotten brighter – my circle wider and don’t you fret; Kris Kringle is alive and well. The December 14th page of The Language of Letting Go ™, talks about giving in healthy ways. Giving what I can afford – giving from the heart and giving for the right reasons, with the result being how amazing I will feel afterward.
It seemed ironic then, that exactly one year ago, I walked into Tilly’s for some butternut squash and before leaving, touched base with Carol-Ann Breedyk on the latest promise.
After a short conversation, I slowly came to realize how she and I had been helping the same person all these years. She, in real time, and I, indirectly.
In as close to this Partridge in a pear tree story as one can get, was the experience of finding one of my mom’s knickknacks resting on the shelves of Agapé two weeks before Christmas during the bleakest winter of 2007. Standing there in my mother’s scarf, I cupped that little treasure in the palm of my hand and wept. And no matter its age, or paint chipped costume, the spirit of Christmas came home with me that day.
Lisa is a member of the Cornwall Writer Society, a group that meets at the Cornwall Public Library on the 3rd Monday of each month from 6:15 to 8:15 pm. For more information about this or any program at the library, please call 613-932-4796. To reach Lisa, email [email protected].
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