Do you remember lying in the dark, eyes glued to the clock, your 7-year-old arms and legs trembling with anticipation? Waiting for the moment you were allowed to get up on Christmas morning?
For me, the Year of the Atari stands out.
But I also remember socks. The Lipstick Years, my mom named that era. The time when things were tight, when we chopped wood to heat the house, and she bought herself one lipstick in two years.
As I grow older, I understand more and more the sacrifices that both sets of my parents made for me and my brothers so we wouldn’t realize how tough things really were. And I understand that our idea of “tough” is nothing compared to what’s happening in the rest of the world.
There are kids in the world that don’t get socks for Christmas. Families that pick through garbage dumps to find items that can be salvaged or recycled or sold. No cellphones or iPods or gift cards to Hollister for these kids.
In fact, many of them don’t get enough food.
My girls have known that life.
Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization that know the power of gifts to impact the lives of kids. Every year, they distribute millions of shoe boxes filled with small gifts to kids in impoverished areas. Toys, coloring books, t-shirts, toothbrushes…socks. Simple things we can get at the dollar store, but that will say to a kid halfway across the world…”Someone cares about you.”
A few months after Masha joined our family, we picked up an empty shoebox at our church. We explained to Masha what the program did and why we had the box. She thought for a minute to find the words, and then replied “in Ukraine, I got one box like that.”
She once received a Christmas box.
Now she can fill one and share her blessings.
If you haven’t filled an Operation Christmas Child box already this year, please consider it. Check out their website at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ to learn more about the organization, discover how to pack your box, and find a collection center near you.
What Christmas stands out in your memory? Post a comment and share….