santa’s anonymous shows the true spirit of christmas

December is going to be an awfully busy month for me.  Busy whining and complaining about school and how finals are going so long that we won’t be able to take a trip someplace warm where we could celebrate Christmas in our bathing suits, under palm trees with a margarita in each hand.

What can I say?  It’s what I do.

But as I am doing all that whining, my friend Shana is posting 31 Days of Giving.  She is taking this month of commercialism, presents and overeating and reminding us that Christmas is really about the giving.  Every day this month, Shana is bringing attention to a different charity, what they do and how you can help.

Is that great, or what?  I cannot think of a better way to spread Christmas cheer than helping out those who need it most.

Reading Shana’s first few posts of the month reminded me I need to pull my head out of the books for a moment, and buy some gifts for my own Christmas charity of choice – Santa’s Anonymous.  I’ve posted about Santa’s Anonymous here before, but its importance can never be overstated:

When my Mom fled her abusive husband, she left with nothing, and it was all she could do to put a roof over her head and feed my brother and sister.  When Christmas rolled around, she knew that she couldn’t afford any gifts, and it broke her heart to deprive her 2 small children, especially when they had already lost so much.

That was when my Gran submitted her name to Santa’s Anonymous.

She knew my Mom was much too proud to ask for a handout, but she also couldn’t bear to see her grandkids wake up on Christmas morning without a gift from Santa waiting to be unwrapped.  A few days before Christmas, there was a knock at the door, and a couple of wrapped gifts were delivered for my brother and sister.

At that moment, it didn’t matter what else was going on in their lives, they each had a couple of new toys of their own that year.

Thanks to Santa’s Anonymous (and my Gran).

Santa’s Anonymous was created in 1955 and provided gifts for 600 children in its first year.  Last Christmas, over 3000 volunteers, picked up donations, wrapped toys and hand delivered gifts for close to 25,000 kids in the area.

They do very good work.

In addition to my families’ personal debt of gratitude to Santa’s Anonymous, the thing that keeps me buying toys for underprivileged kids every year, is a story that is played each year on the radio that so perfectly sums up the idea behind Santa’s Anonymous – it’s called A Creature was Stirring, and is told by Santa’s Anonymous founder Jerry Forbes.  I remember growing up, and listening obsessively to 630 CHED around Christmas time just so I could hear the story of the shaggy-haired young man in the sheep-skin coat.  Give it a listen here – its less than 5 minutes out of your day – and then go out and buy a toy (or two) for a little girl or boy.  You will make some child very happy on Christmas morning.

And really, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

While you’re in the giving mood, please go check out Shana’s 31 Days of Giving, I dare you not to be inspired to do a little good of your own.

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