I am extremely happy today as I am about to be off work (1 hour count down!) and drive 3 hours HOME for Christmas. I’m lucky, I have 2 homes. The one that my future husband and I bought about a year ago and the house I grew up in where my parents still live. sometimes Ryan gets offended when I call that house my home, but truly it is. I spent 21 years of my life living there, have memories in every room and, to me, home is still where ever my parents are.
I’m also lucky to have Christmas off this year. Not everyone is so lucky. Not that it’s even luck, we need to have police, paramedics, firefighters, nurses, doctors and tons of other professionals working over these holidays that sometimes seem that you can only celebrate on one day. I also work in a profession where sometimes I have to work every holiday. The sad part for me, when I have to work Christmas, is that I have kids at work who have nowhere to go for the holidays, not even on Christmas day. They have no family to teach them holiday traditions, cook them a turkey dinner, no gifts, but worst of all no family who love you to spend the day with. That’s where people like me come in. Throughout December I try to plan Christmas traditions that I’ve grown up with (I plan the recreation nights for our youth) such as building gingerbread houses, making ornaments and walking around looking at Christmas lights. I know my coworkers and boss do the same as one of my coworkers fills the counters with Christmas cookies and treats (maybe not healthy but festive) and my boss sure knows how to shop for Christmas stockings, plus our agency is pretty generous with the amount of money we are allowed to spend on the kids gifts.
Right now we have four youth who live in this house. Only 2 get to see family over Christmas. We gave them their stockings already as we wanted the four of them to open them together with staff around and they were shocked and excited (and these are 15 and 16 year olds) Candy, socks, nice soaps, shampoo, toothbrushes, Tim’s Gift card, and tons more. One of the boys said “wow you guys went all out, Christmas is never like this at home” which made my heart ache, but also made me so happy that I organized the gift exchange with my friends that I talked about in my last post- Santa’s Anonymous, as those toys are going to brighten some childs Christmas morning. I’m glad we could bring a bit of joy to our kids here and hopefully they’ll remember this Christmas when they have their own kids.
So really this is a post to say thank you to anyone out there who is working over Christmas. Thanks to my coworkers for letting me have this year off so I could spend it with these folks
Merry Christmas Everyone
This month of December has been busy, stressful and not really a lot of fun. I had one week were I ate really well and worked out a ton which helped me feel a bit better, but I really needed a bit of a pick me up.
I decided to invite some friends over a for a Secret Santa, you know where you draw names and buy a gift for that person, but I decided to put a spin on it since really, as much as everyone loves to get gifts, what do we do we all need? truly nothing. My friends and I are all doing ok. We all have jobs, we have a place to live, food on the table, we’re all just doing fine.
so what was the spin?
Buy the gift for your person as if they were a kid and then the gifts would all be donated to Santa’s Anonymous. It’s this great organization in Edmonton, AB that collects new/un-used toys and delivers them to children who otherwise wouldn’t get gifts for Christmas.
We went around and opened our gifts (just to show a few)
Ryan wanted to immediately play some knee hockey
Jen started talking about the play-dough hair salon set she had as a kid which is wild, since I ALSO had that hair salon. It also brought up the “who ate play-dough as a child?”question.
Luc relieved a few minutes of his childhood and we all were entertained by a quick story of his past.
Emma was jealous that as a child she was never gifted with a beautifully crafted crate of art supplies. (it was mostly the crate that held the supplies she was jealous of since she did have art supplies)
Everyone had a few moments of their youth brought back to them and go to share some memories. I know my heart was warmed by the stories, thoughtfulness of the gifts and generosity of my friends and was just what I needed to get in the Christmas spirit.
In total we collected 14 new toys for kids who deserve to have a gift to open on Christmas morning and now my mind is already spinning out ideas of how we can collect more toys next year.