Saturday, December 18, 2010


While the children were in rehearsals for tomorrow I helped wrap gifts at our church. Every year we have an Angel Tree for families in need. I have been involved with this, in some form, for years. This year, our congregation provided gifts for 52 individuals in, I think, 10 family groups. For these gifts, the parent, or head of the family, gives suggestions for gifts (ideas, sizes, etc). I was wrapping the gifts for the largest family group we had which was a grandmother, her daughter and the daughter's 6 children (ages 16 to 2). While this event usually brings good thoughts and warm feelings, this year it left me quite disheartened. Definitely a sign of the times, parents asked for many more practical gifts for their children this year. Where I usually wrap toys and games, this year there were requests for socks, a new coat, flannel pajamas and children's clothes. All the wrappers this year commented on this and it seemed to make all of us a bit sad.
How sad that the economy is so bad that parents who can't afford gifts for their children are desperate enough to ask for socks and underwear.
How disheartening for a four year old to get only one toy and the rest clothes.
How disappointing for 16 year old twin boys to get socks and pajamas for Christmas.
How sad that a mother, instead of asking for something for herself, requests a gift card to the local grocery store.
These are, indeed, the dark days of winter....


  1. Oh Judy, this is indeed sad. Here in Michigan, so very many have been hit with job loss. I could just cry at the amount of need. I see the economy coming back in some areas, but in others-well, it appears to be getting worse. It doesn't take much to bring happiness to a child, but socks? So so sad.

  2. You are wonderful to help out with this, and the fact that you all notice the changes by the year goes a long way towards community understanding of the problem. Hugs...

  3. I can understand how you might feel disheartened by this observation...

    but at least you and your organisation are doing something...imagine what the family's life would be like without even these gifts? (even if they are not very festive IKWYM....)

    You are doing a really good thing Judy!

  4. It's very sad - I know of probably 10 families at the kids school who don't have money for food or clothes. It's wonderful and sad to have to help out - and you are amazing for doing this! Here in Ohio I see lots of people out of work.....hugs to you and your family this holiday season!!!

  5. We're getting a nationwide reminder of what it truly means to have "plenty." I'm glad those parents actually wrote their real needs down, and I hope they get those items AND a few fun toys to boot. My grandparents were always frugal and they actually gave simple items that didn't seem very "gifty." Now I see why, and I have a new appreciation for them, where before I just thought they were caught up in their stuffy ways. I hope we can have that ol' gumption as a nation that decides to take back some of the production that required local jobs, so OUR people can have some income right here at home. We haven't exchanged gifts here in years for the holidays simply because we don't have the extra for it, and because we make sure to celebrate some of the milestones through the year in smaller ways. That doesnt make me immune to wishing we had a lot of extra to "do with" but honestly, I dont feel like we're doing without, and we're very very blessed for Jack to be employed. I hope a lot of parents and their kids find really creative ways to make memories despite the huge mess our finances are in these days. And thanks to you and yours for being generous when it counts!


Glad you stopped in. I would love to hear from you.