Tis the season of giving. In New Jersey there are so many in need this year. I wasn't sure where to help out. After talking with others and actually going and taking some toys to two different groups, I found the place I could tell were the most interested in helping the kids and would put what I donated to the best use. I am so excited to be helping them. It's actually a dental office with three female dentists who are lovely people. Their receptionist, Barbara, is indescribable. She is a woman of boundless energy who is so highly motivated to help others and dispenses such caring and appreciation to those who are working towards that goal.
Last week my holiday spirit was in short supply. I saw something about this group on my town's facebook page and contacted them. I had two large bags I had put together. It was a dreary and rainy day and I just wanted to get the things out of here. When I met Barbara my mood lightened. She exuded holiday spirit and gave me a warm hug. By the time I left there I was feeling oh so much better. She gave me a tip of where I could buy a lot of toys inexpensively and I went to that store. I had another group in mind that were collecting at a real estate office in another town but had a drop off in my area. After buying another large bag of games and mainly Transformers I went to the other place. What a difference: disorganization central. There was no enthusiasm on the part of the person there and the toys were left where someone could grab some and run. Not that many people would do that in a medical office but hey you never know. I made up my mind I would stick with the other group (Galleria Dental of Manalapan, NJ.) Today I dropped off another bag to them. To be honest this year we shouldn't be buying many gifts. We should have cut way back. I have a pile of medical bills that need to be paid but I remember being a child and having nothing to open at Christmas. It was one of the last years my Dad was in the Navy. We had four kids and two foster kids. They were unofficial and my parents got no money for them but we knew their mother who was in a mental hospital and their father was an alcoholic. Each of those kids got a nice gift. My gift was a child's table that I shared with my little sister. Great gift for her but I was 9 and barely fit in the chair. Later that day I took a walk to my cousin's house and she had gotten one of those metal kitchens with a sink that water ran in. I was so jealous. I couldn't bear the thought of these children who lost their homes not having gifts to open. I am psyched. Since then I have put up a few decorations and I have cookie dough chilling. Rob is working six days a week right now so we have no tree as of yet. Oh...and speaking of Rob.....he got an early Christmas present. His brother bought himself a new PS3 and sent Rob his old one. He even paid to have it cleaned before he sent it. He also sent him two games. Rob was thrilled and I was thrilled for him!
It's so hard when you lose a loved one not to get down around the holidays. My Dad was always with me for Christmas. There was never a Christmas I didn't spend with him. This will be the second. In his memory, I am having the stones of his grandmother and great grandmother repaired. It's expensive but well worth it to me. I know he would want me to go on and to enjoy myself. I'm going to do that. My husband and son deserve a Merry Christmas and I plan to serve that up on a gigantic platter with a side of love. Life is so short. I have learned that it is in giving that we truly receive.