So normally it’s all fun and games around here on the DD (that’s what I call it in my head. The DD. Or the Double D. The Deez. OK, I don’t call it that at all ever.), so please pardon this trip down Cliche Lane.
I was all set to write a rip-roaring blog post about the epic fail that was Santa photos today. Everyone knew it wouldn’t happen (it didn’t) and I was actually looking forward to typing up the imagery of Declan wall-sliding down Santa’s lap, completely limp from fear and panic, while Simon screamed and reached for me. (There, I described it) But instead, I’m sad.
I’m sad because even if Declan and Simon never get up the courage to sit on a random stranger’s lap and whisper the names of toys to him while their photos are taken (seriously, WHO thought this up?), I know that their Christmas wishes will come true. And I know that for so many kids, no matter who they tell, they will be disappointed on Christmas morning.
I know, cue the Debbie Downer music.
The reason for this detour from the norm is because while we were at the mall, we saw 2 Angel Trees set up. We had stopped on our way to the mall at my church to pick up an Angel list there, but no one was there, so when I saw the ones at the mall, I figured we’d grab one from there. I was so disappointed to see that the trees were both still full of lists, especially since most of the lists asked that the presents be returned by Nov. 30.
I started looking at the lists, hoping that one would grab me more than the others. It didn’t. They all grabbed me. I don’t know what the Angel Tree policies are, but on all the lists that I saw, the boys and girls were asking for pajamas, warm-ups, winter coats and socks and shoes. Some little girls wanted a church dress and shoes, some boys wanted jeans. No one had put toys or books or even “fun” clothes like slippers or Crocs. Maybe they aren’t allowed to, I’m not sure. Or maybe they CAN ask for toys, but know that socks and underwear is more important. I don’t know. But it broke my heart.
I want so bad to instill a sense of empathy and giving in my kids. I want them to know how lucky they are, not because they will have a Christmas filled with toys and goodies, but because they will always have people around them that love then and care about them and will make sure that their needs — and most of their wants — will be met. They won’t have to ask for winter coats for Christmas because SOMEBODY, be it me, or Paul or their grandparents, will always be around to make sure they are warm. But these kids have one or more parents in jail or prison, which means they have one less person that is there to make sure they have soft pajamas on at night. Not that they have one less person who CARES, but one less person there to take care.
So I did literally the least I could do, and grabbed 2 lists, one for a little boy and one for a little girl, both who want pajamas. I plan to get them the warmest, softest and sweetest pajamas I can find, and throw in some bedtime books as well. I wish I could take all the lists and make all their wishes come true, but I can’t. I hope that my small gesture, and the gestures of so many others, can help ease some of the stress that these families face during the holidays.