12.18.2013

Giving Is Snow Much Fun

Holiday greetings from the Grueners. 
Have you finished your preparations?


Today's holiday story dates back twelve years. I know that because I got her phone call my first year as a counselor at Westwood Elementary. She wanted to provide a new coat for a child who didn't have a warm winter jacket, so I called her back with his size and she delivered it to me at school in the most beautifully-wrapped package ever. From there it bloomed into something bigger. She wanted to adopt a whole family. And she was going to fulfill wishes from their Santa list in honor of her children. She wanted to share stuff that matters, on their behalf, with someone less fortunate than they. On Christmas, they'd  unwrap up a little description of what she'd bought and whom she'd given it to, instead of to them.
To teach them about gift of giving.
To help them look beyond themselves. 
To celebrate the reason for the season.

So this year I called my Christmas angel to thank her for her generosity and to see if she was planning on me finding her a family to continue her tradition. And, though she desperately wanted to do it again, she explained that things had significantly changed for her family this year and she wouldn't be able to complete an adoption this year. She didn't want to take a year off, she even offered to donate some money if I could get someone to do the shopping for her, but I told her that even God rested on the Sabbath.

So as I was praying for her restored health and wondering what I could do to repay her for a dozen years of boundless Christmas compassion, it occurred to me that I (with the help of a few friends!) could pick up where she left off to keep her tradition going. After getting them two gifts each, I stopped shopping for my own children and turned my attention toward three families who could use things like new clothes, shoes, a pair of PJs, some educational toys, stuff that matters, more than ours. It was great fun to shop in honor of Kaitlyn for another little girl, and then Jacob for a second grader and his sister, and then Joshua for a little preK friend. I'm wrapping up cards telling them a little bit about the children we gave gifts to on their behalf. I hope they'll be as excited about this time-honored tradition as I am.

And, just for fun, I wrote that donor a Christmas card to assure her that her spirit of giving is alive and well at Westwood-Bales.

Who knew that giving could be snow much fun! 





1 comment:

I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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