I've been having a very hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. With all the craziness of getting things ready for Jellybean's arrival and being broke - I was feeling more "Bah Humbug!" than "Ho! Ho! Ho!". I honestly wasn't sure if anything was going to turn my mood around and really get me inspired. I mean my house is decorated, the tree was up and I still felt nothing.
I had purchased one present. Yea....not looking promising!
Then I was listening to the radio on my way into work and I heard them talking about the critical shortage Toys For Tots had in our area. They had 27,000 children registered and try to give three toys to each child. Their warehouse currently only had 32,000 toys in it. That's clearly not enough toys. This broke my heart since I could never imagine Jellybean only getting one toy at Christmas. Not with our families. All of us adults would give up breathing and eating before we denied our kids Christmas.
Then I found my Christmas spirit and something which was bigger than me. One of the great things about my company in that we donate 50% of our profits to women's and children's charities. The owners don't collect any money from our company and the only reason they started our company is to support the foundation. Every year at Christmas rather than buy the owners a present the employees try to do something charitable in their name. We bought farm animals one year, last year we donated to Fisher House, and this year I spearheaded our collection for Toys for Tots!
The instant I wrote the email asking everyone at work to contribute I felt my Christmas Cheer building up. When I went to the store to purchase a gift that meter shot up a little bit. Now as people come by my office and drop off gifts or money - that meter may just go into overload.
So what changed?
Well - I still only have one gift purchased and plan on cramming in a crap load of Christmas shopping and finishing Jellybean's room into this weekend but now I'm actually excited. Through this one simple little act - the holiday stopped being about everything I still needed to get done. It went back to the true meaning - doing something for others. And while it started with Toys for Tots that spirit is now leaking into shopping for my family. I can actually get excited about sharing the gifts and season with them. The excitement of knowing that next Christmas there will be a very excited Jellybean tearing into gifts. And knowing that because of a simple email there will be some very happy children on Christmas morning!
If you are feeling more like Scrooge than Claus - I hope you too can find your spirit by looking outside yourself. Its amazing what a little perspective can do!
Shell over at Things I Can't Say hosts - Pour Your Heart Out. It is a place to just get whatever is weighing on your heart out. Please be kind to all of the posters.