WE ARE COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS TO THE 25TH
We can’t wait to have our children and grandchildren on Christmas Day. Glenn is the noisy (read fun) grandparent who fills the children with sugary treats, gets them all wound up and sends them home. I am the quiet (read boring) grandparent who reads, colours and makes sure everyone is safe. Our home isn’t exactly kid proof.
PRESENTS, FOOD AND FUN TO SPARE FOR CHRISTMAS
And our grandchildren are no longer babies. The youngest one just turned three. Jeremy and Dana and Allison and Ed are wonderful parents. I get exhausted watching them. Glenn and I were young once…I think. Our home will be a happy place with gifts and food for all.
I wish I could say that about all families, but we live in a broken world filled with hurt and disappointment. That’s where you enter the story. There is still time to share the magic of Christmas with those who may need a little bit of Christmas cheer. I can assure you that your generosity will be returned to you many times over.
YOUR NEIGHBOURS MAY NOT HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS
I have compiled a list of mostly stolen ideas intended to create more joy and I would like to share some of them with you:
TIP NUMBER ONE
Adopt a family this year because illness, unemployment and poverty can suck the joy out of Christmas. Treat some innocent children to the four-gift rule: something they need, something to wear, something to read and something they want.
TIP NUMBER TWO
Fill a stocking for a woman who has fled her home because of violence and is spending the holidays in a shelter. She could use: a hat, gloves, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, hand cream, chocolates and something extra special.
TIP NUMBER THREE
Do you know a senior with arthritic hands? Offer to address Christmas cards and wrap gifts.
TIP NUMBER FOUR
Cooking for one is no fun. Choose someone who lives alone and prepare frozen single serving meals that can be reheated in the microwave. While you are at it, share your Christmas baking too.
TIP NUMBER FIVE
Adopt a grandparent for Christmas. Invite a widow or widower to spend Christmas Day with your family. You could bestow the title of “Honorary Grandparent” on him or her. This has become an annual tradition for many families. It’s a win-win situation.
TIP NUMBER SIX
Christmas is especially difficult for those in hospital. Grab your guitar, some musical friends and sing carols in the hallways and common areas of the hospital. A little bit of Christmas cheer goes further than you can imagine.
TIP NUMBER SEVEN
Reach out to someone who has experienced loss. Don’t know what to do? It can be as simple as taking a plate of cookies or a poinsettia . It will touch a heart in a way you cannot imagine. Don’t know what to say? “This is just a little something to let you know we are thinking about you.”
TIP NUMBER EIGHT
Day and night, the radio pumps out “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and “I’ll Have a Blue Christmas Without You.” Buy a gas card or bus ticket for someone who would love to visit family, but can’t afford it. It will be a million dollars in their eyes.
TIP NUMBER NINE
Arrange a Christmas lights tour by filling your car with folks who would not otherwise be able to enjoy the beautiful lights of the season. As you drive slowly through the neighbourhood and listen to the
heartfelt “oohs and ahhs” your heart may grow a size.
TIP NUMBER TEN
From our home to yours, we wish you a happy holiday with family and friends. Hey, it’s the one day of the year that even Tim Hortons locks its doors.