Friday, December 02, 2011

I'll know it when I feel it

On my way back from the post office where I mailed paperbacks to the soldiers, I spotted a book fair. For just $3.81 (including tax), I was able to pick up this Nancy Drew book. I left it in the drop box for the children's home my office building assists each year. I loved Nancy Drew as a young girl, and it makes me happy to think of another little gal enjoying her adventures this Christmas.

My nephew and I have already shopped for Sebastian, the 12-year-old in the after-school program for the less privileged in my own neighborhood. And I dropped off the goodies I have been collecting all year for Toys for Tots. There's a box conveniently located at my local Walgreen's (and there's probably one at yours, too -- hint, hint).

I try to contribute to good causes all year because it's the right thing to do. As JFK said, we should work toward a world where "the weak are safe and the strong are just," and to that end, I should do my part. It's what's expected of me as a Christian.

But at Christmas, when it comes to kids, there's more joy and less obligation in my giving. I think it's because I love thinking of the absolutely perfect toys I got from Santa when I was little. Or the scented lotions, barrettes and patterned knee socks in my stocking from my parents when I got older.

It wasn't so much the stuff that make the memories special. It was the wonder and the magic. The joy and surprise. It's that excitement and happiness that I'm trying to recapture and pass along to another young person.

After Sebastian and Toys for Tots, I thought I had given "enough" and was done for the season. Then I saw Nancy Drew looking out at me from the book rack and I knew I still had a ways to go. When I can look at a potential gift and a collection bin and not feel the irresistable need to bring them together, that's when I'll be done for the year

One last gift

I think I am almost done with my Christmas shopping! All that's left is a Chicago Bulls cap for my young nephew.

I didn't pick one up for him earlier because he's not really that much of a basketball fan and with the lockout dragging on and on, I was afraid there wouldn't be a season. For him, when the Bulls are out of sight, they are out of mind. (After all, they aren't the Cubs.)

But my mom is a huge fan and it will make her happy to see him wearing it. And, like many other 12 year old boys, it makes him happy to switch caps every day or so. Win/win.

About comments

Every now and again I read one of you blogging buddies o' mine wondering wistfully why you don't receive any more comments. To which I ask, "Do you really want strangers venting their voluminous spleens on your blog?"

Every once in a while I'm accused of being an unsympathetic bitch for holding Betty Broderick responsible for shooting two people while they slept, pre-dawn on a Sunday morning, in their own beds. I'm too thick to understand that somehow it was self defense.

Now it seems I'm hard-hearted because I don't feel sorry for Joe Paterno after the role he played in the Penn State scandal.

Because I have Statcounter for this blog, I know that the Betty fans and the Paterno apologist arrived here the same way. They do searches for these hot button topics and then troll the web to tell complete strangers like me how wrong we are.

I don't get it.

It feels a more than a little sad, and it very annoying.