This holiday season is all about the me, me, mes. Sometimes I worry I perpetuate that when I ask my son about what he wants for Christmas, when we write letters to Santa and circle toys in a catalog. Because I just can’t stop (won’t stop) those traditions I enjoyed as a child – I’m trying to put more on the other side of the holiday see-saw. Hopefully it’ll balance things out.
With just a couple days to go to the Christmas card mailing deadline (I know, procrastinating at it’s finest) – I’m hoping to make a difference and teach my kids a lesson in love.
It’s as easy as sending a handful of Christmas cards to those in need of a little extra pick-me-up. This time of year you’ve probably seen those news stories about a child in need – maybe they’re fighting for their life, maybe they communicate differently, maybe they lost their family. The one thing they all have in common – they’re asking for a whole lot of love through a very simple gesture – a card.
Cards can make all the difference. I think it applies to everyone, but especially for a child.
When I was in kindergarten I had the most amazing teacher. I had a best friend, I had a crush on a kid who threw rocks at me at recess. I still remember going on a scavenger hunt for the gingerbread man who yelled “You can’t catch me” and the red necklace I chose from the treasure chest for earning enough stars.
Kindergarten was going great. But then – my little 6-year-old world was torn apart.
I was living in my new home, missing my BFF and Mr. Felber.
That’s when a huge envelope arrived for me.
When I opened it, inside there were dozens of cards. A card from each of my classmates.
The memories are pretty faded at this point – but I remember the emotion. I remember feeling so loved my heart could burst. I treasured those cards. I would look through them again and again. I put them in a special box that I then added to throughout the years.
That’s why this year – I’m taking on card requests making headlines in the news all over the country.
Of course, it comes with the added bonus of teaching my children the season isn’t all about the guy in the red suit and the long list of gifts they want.
I grabbed a pack of Christmas cards and explained to J.C. (the almost 4-year-old) about where the cards would be going. I told him some kids are having a hard time this time of year. I explained to him that these kids need a little extra love.
I asked him what he thought about the idea.
My heart melted as he responded, “That’s a great idea, Mom.”
The first thing he did was reach for the yellow crayon – “I need yellow. I’m going to make a sun.”
Next, he made a flower to make the child “feel great.” You’ll also notice a smiley face beneath it, J.C. pointed out “looks kind of like a frog.”
My favorite – an “x marks the spot” because he knows it will make another child “feel great.’
It didn’t take us long.
My true hope is when the child on the receiving end sees these cards, they smile, but that they’re just a drop in the bucket compared to what they’re getting nationwide.
I did a quick search of news stations nationwide to come up with this short list of children asking for cards this year.
If you (and your kids) have a moment – send off some Christmas cards to make all the difference. Oh, and do it by Saturday – to get there by Christmas Eve.
(lost her family in a fire, the same fire she was severely burned in)
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady, NY 12306
(a boy with autism hoping to get 1,000 cards this year)
P.O. Box 359
Natchitoches, LA 71458
(9-year-old injured in a terrible car accident)
3106 Creekwood Drive
Wylie, TX 75098
1389 W 86th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46260