I love the holidays. Who doesn't? The lights, the food, the mood, the food, being with family...did I mention the food? I also love my annual trek into the city with James, Jen and James to see Santa and take pictures at the Rockefeller Center tree. I am so excited to bring Em in on that tradition and you best believe I already have her outfit picked, right down to the hair bow. That's just how I roll.
But the thing I love most about the season is giving back. For the last few years my work has been involved in adopting families from a group called Lunch Break in Red Bank. We get the kids' wish lists and collect money to give them a Christmas their parents can't afford to give them. And let me tell you how much my coworkers rock. They throw me an overwhelming amount of money to help make these kids' Christmas dreams come true. I am truly lucky to work amongst people who rock so hard.
Two years ago James and I adopted two children from the giving tree at the Pathmark where his mother worked. Sadly that Pathmark is now closed due to the economy.
But this year Jen hit the mother load when she found the JcPenney Salvation Army Angel Adoption Program. If you do nothing else this holiday season to help someone else, please go to this link and adopt a needy child or senior. And if you don't cry while going through the wish lists of these people then you have something wrong with one. I adopted a little girl who just wants Barbies, a boy who wants Transformers and a 99 year old woman who simply wants a blanket. Then I adopted a 3 month old who needs clothes. I sat and thought about my Emily and how it would break my heart if I couldn't even provide clothes for her. I wish I could help all of these people and if one day my dreams of being a published writer come true I will.
Yes, times are tough. But as tough as they may or may not be for me, there is always someone else out there who has it much worse.
If you can't afford to adopt an angel there are so many other ways you can give back. Donate to a clothing drive. Bring a few boxes of food down to the local food pantry. Offer to help an elderly neighbor grocery shop. I promise it will bring a fullness to your heart that I cannot begin to describe.