With the Holidays just around the corner, I think we can all (myself included) get a little caught up in what we want for Christmas and how many gifts we’re going to have under the Christmas tree. But for some, the question isn’t what do they want for Christmas, but will they be getting any presents at all? It’s so easy to get distracted by thinking about what we don’t have, that we don’t always take the time to appreciate all the blessings that we do have in our lives.
I was honored to get to participate in a last-minute appearance helping the “Toys for Tots” foundation this past week. We received an email about volunteering to help Marines shop for toys for economically disadvantaged children a few days prior to the appearance. When I first read the email, it said that the appearance started at 7 a.m. about an hour away from my house and the selfish side of me thought, “Do I REALLY want to wake up at 4:30 a.m.?!” Yet, I decided to sign up for the appearance and I am SO glad that I did.
Right away, as soon as we arrived at the location to shop for the toys, everyone was so friendly (even at 7 a.m.!). We visited with the Marines that were also there and then paired off into groups to begin shopping. We spent the next hour or so filling our grocery carts with toys because we had up to $10,000 to spend. I think I speak for all of us when I say that I have never shopped so fast! The remainder of the appearance consisted of ringing up the toys and moving them to the “Toys for Tots” truck.
During the time that we spent shopping, I got to visit with the Marine who I was paired up with. Not only was she there volunteering her time to pick out toys for less fortunate children, but she informed me that she wasn’t going to be able to go home and spend Christmas with her family. Nonetheless, she was pleased to say that after Christmas she gets to go home for a week. Hearing something like that really puts life in perspective and makes me appreciate every little thing with which I have been blessed.
While I was thinking about what it would be like not being able to spend Christmas with my family at home, one of the ladies helping us out explained to us that when they distribute the toys to the children on Christmas, some of them are crying tears of joy because they are so thankful to even get ONE toy on Christmas, no matter what it might be.
Hearing that there are children that will be so thankful to get that one toy for Christmas that I helped pick out for them just melts my heart. I think we should all take this joyful time over the holidays to really stop and be thankful for all of our blessings. Now, more than ever, I am thankful for all of the men and women in our armed forces that are willing to protect us so that we can enjoy a safe holiday season with the ones we love.