My Christmas wish this year is two-fold. Well, maybe three-fold. First, I hope that all of those families whose lives were upended by Hurricane Sandy find peace and sanity in the coming months. There are still so many people without so many basic necessities, it’s horrible.
Second, and this one is my first wish for me and my most fervent wish, selfishly, I wish for a full-time job with a real paycheck and real benefits. Freelancing has been a good experience, but I need more stability.
Third, and this is just fantasy, I wish that Santa would drop off a couple of his elves while he’s on his travels and they could spin their Christmas magic and get my re-organization/cleaning project completed.
It has been a very busy but very fulfilling couple of months since Hurricane Sandy.
I spent the first three weeks or so helping daily at the community recovery center, helping people replace items they had lost in the storm – giving them clean clothes, cleaning supplies to start their arduous clean-ups, toiletries, you name it. I was moved to tears daily by the stories of these survivors – my neighbors on my small island.
I pushed for and helped organize a Thanksgiving dinner for our community, feeling strongly that at a time when so many had just lost so much, we needed to come together and celebrate as a community, as a family. We had so much support it was incredible, and there were over 200 people there, and probably over 50 volunteers – we had people who just showed up that day and wanted to help, as well as more restaurants and individuals showing up the day of the dinner with donations of food and drinks. It was truly one of the best Thanksgivings I’ve ever had.
Then I had the opportunity to help an organization distribute items that were still needed by members of our island, although on a smaller level. Through Blankets for Brigantine and Beyond, I was able to help make Christmas better for various families in the area, in some cases providing gifts that they wouldn’t otherwise have had for their kids. Although I’m now pretty wiped out, I’m definitely so grateful and thankful and completely fulfilled by the experience. I still have more items to sort and distribute, but the toys were the most pressing due to time.
I continually feel so blessed for all I have – for the fact that my home was spared by the floods, for my two wonderful, amazing kids, and for the fantastic friends I am blessed to have in my life.
Santa has come to my house for the first time in my kids’ lives (we celebrate Chanukah, but I decided this year they deserved some Christmas magic). My daughter played into it this year, by deciding to sprinkle the reindeer food on the front lawn (oats mixed with glitter) and leaving cookies and milk for Santa. I asked her if she believed in Santa (I’ve always told them that he just doesn’t come here because we don’t celebrate) and she said she didn’t know – she would see. My son said there was no Santa and asked me to tell him the truth. I said simply that I believed – that Christmas magic was special.
So I need to go to sleep so when they wake up and see the 2 unwrapped gifts with the note from Santa, and they wake me up way too early, discovering the gifts and the note and the cookies eaten and the milk half empty, I can act surprised and not believe them until they show me the evidence.
So on that note, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Live, love, laugh…it’s what makes it worthwhile!