Tuesday, November 13, 2007
***Edited to Add: If any of you get the urge to pass this idea along, please feel free to do so. As I said, I "borrowed" the thought from Kathy at Remembering the Moments and she got the idea from a message board. I read her post and thought "oh what a great idea", but didn't think of blogging about it myself until she responded to my comment and actually suggested I could do so. Thank you, Kathy!!!
Kathy, over at Remembering the Moments, did a post the other day about the book Christmas Jars. A brief synopsis of the book is as follows:
In the book, a journalist happens upon a human interest story that winds up teaching her lessons about love and forgiveness and renewing her own faith in human kindness. On Christmas Eve, twenty-something Hope Jensen is quietly grieving the recent loss of her adoptive mother when her apartment is robbed. The one bright spot in the midst of Hope's despair is a small jar full of money someone has anonymously left on her doorstep. Eager to learn the source of this unexpected generosity, Hope uses her newswoman instincts to find other recipients of "Christmas jars," digging until her search leads her to the family who first began the tradition of saving a year's worth of spare change to give to someone in need at the holiday. (The above information was taken from a review by Publishers Weekly on Amazon)
More than just it being a Christmassy type story though, what really grabbed my attention was the actual concept of having a Christmas jar. I think it's a wonderful way to touch someone's life during the holidays. When I think back on all the hard candy Christmases before I met Randey when I couldn't afford anything special for Nicholas (and later Des, when she came along), I ache a little bit inside at how alone I often times felt. Luckily, I did have people to help me. My mom, Aunt Ginger, Uncle Mike, my grandparents, my sister and brother-in-law...all these people (and others) reached out and helped to give my children some happy memories of opening presents on Christmas morning. And even after Randey and I were married, when Kaleb and Jacob came along, we had some pretty tough Christmases then, too. Again, we had family that reached out to help us. But, after hearing of these Christmas jars, I thought how wonderful it would have been to have received the kindness of strangers. The thing about family helping is that sometimes, you think they probably feel obligated to help you. Do you know what I mean? I'm not saying they didn't help out of love, but sometimes I had to wonder if they felt like there would never come a time when we didn't need their help to provide things for our kids. I think that to have had a stranger, a total and complete stranger, reach out to us during the holidays would have felt...oh, I don't know how to say it...like someone out there saw us for what we were...a young family struggling to give our children happy memories of that most special holiday. And that someone decided to help us with that. Not because they felt sorry for us or because they knew us or because they wanted recognition for making our lives just a tad bit brighter, but because they just wanted to give joy. Period. I don't mean to lessen the love and the help given to us by people we knew. I'm merely trying to explain how it might have felt to have a stranger look on us with kindness at a time when the world could feel awfully big while we felt awfully small. Anyway...this concept of the Christmas jars has captured my attention in a big way. I read that some people are even giving a copy of the book along with an empty jar to people on their Christmas list so that they, too, might come to understand and participate in what could grow to be a treasured Christmas tradition for their families. Me and mine will be talking this over. I just have to convince Randey that all his change should go towards a complete stranger instead of towards his "mad money" stash. lol He's kind of a softie at heart, though, so I don't think it'll take much convincing. And Kaleb's always generous of spirit so he's a shoo in, too. Now Jake...Jake may take some talking to....lol
Look what I saw when I turned around after having checked my e-mail. Sydney the Wonder Dog had followed me upstairs...that part's normal...but he usually curls up on his giant pillow or on the couch. This morning, though, I guess the baby Vader and baby Yoda looked like good company because that's where he decided to spend his morning. Is this not the cutest dog in the whole wide world? Yes, he is. Say it. Yes, Sydney the Wonder Dog is the cutest dog in the whole wide world. There you go. It's good to tell the truth now isn't it?