Monday, December 19, 2011

The Season of Giving

The holidays can be so backwards when the Season of Giving becomes the Season of Getting. So I felt very blessed to find ways to give and serve this Christmas.  The kids did their first bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, and Lorelei played songs on her fiddle as people streamed by.  They loved it, and her music seemed to magically empty pockets!  Gryffy helped by putting the money in the pot and saying "thank you."  Someone thought they were so cute that he bought them both some fun bubbles to play with--I love random kindness!
Then our church had an amazing opportunity to package meals with Numana and the Salvation Army for refugees in the Horn of Africa... 141,288 meals, to be exact!  A Heartlander at our table had been a refugee in The Congo once herself, and shared how excited the kids would become when these meals would arrive.
We lived on rice and beans that day to try and appreciate what we were putting together.  The kids and I love rice and beans... Mark, not so much.  But I made some Thai sticky rice, which made him happy.
 The assembly was very precise.  Lorelei, Gryffy and Daddy measured beans and rice into the bags, then another volunteer weighed them to the exact gram, then another volunteer and I sealed them before they were boxed.
 Lorelei worked for two whole hours, and it was wonderful to see our family join together with so many others--organized religion at its best.  We packed 216 meals!
 Our table was one of the last to finish. Here the Numana volunteers are clearing and restocking for the next shift of volunteers.
Another thing we're giving away... toys!  I love the feeling of clearing out the excess, and the kids did a good job of discriminating what to keep and what to give away.  We set up hula hoops on the floor--one for Lorelei, one for Gryffy, one for donations, another for trash/broken toys.  We had a trunk and back car full when we were done.  And our home is clean!
 That Gobbler the kids are sitting on had been keeping his belly full for a very long time.  He finally vomited the toys all over the floor, and the kids began to realize that they didn't miss a lot of them.  They gave away some really nice stuff, too.  After the sorting had finished, I paid them in tokens for some toys in their hula hoops that they just weren't ready to part with but that I wanted gone--bargain deal! 
 And tonight, we're going caroling at the nursing home with Awanas Club.  Lorelei's been practicing Deck the Halls on her fiddle for the event, and Gryffy knows all the words to "Smurf the Halls."  Sometimes, the giving of time and talents counts for more than treasure, and I have a feeling the residents will love it.

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