Growing up, one of my favorite family holiday traditions was joining in the Quarters for Christmas campaign KSL would sponsor every year. The goal was to raise money to buy shoes for less fortunate children. I remember that my brother, sisters, and I would all save the change we would earn/find/”borrow” from Mom & Dad, and on Christmas Eve or Christmas Eve-Eve (23rd), we would go downtown to KSL’s broadcast house and drop our change into their old fashioned quarter machine. My sister Natalie gave all of the money she had earned for an entire year when she was 6 or 7 and I remember being so proud of her.
I bring this up because Christmas is the time of year when we really start to reflect on others instead of on ourselves. We look at ways to help encourage or lift those who are down on their luck. We try to do more good, be more kind, give more of ourselves than the other 11 months out of the year. The focus is on building the human spirit, drinking from the cup of charity and making life just a little more sweet. It’s my absolute favorite time of year! (minus any freezing temperatures)
A couple of years ago, I started a new tradition with Caden of going to Macy’s and participating in their Angel Tree program. You pick a name off the tree and the card has information on what a child or adult needs for Christmas. We’ve made it a tradition for three years now of selecting a boy Caden’s age. I wanted him to think sincerely about making Christmas a bit nicer for someone we’ve never met but who deserves a special Christmas morning just like everyone else. It has been a lot of fun to take our angel card to the store. I’ve loved watching Caden get into considering what the boy would like to receive as a gift or what shoes or coat or clothes would be “cool” for him to wear.
We finished our shopping for 9 year old Armondo yesterday and Caden asked if we could deliver the gifts to him ourselves.
“Sorry bud, but we get to play Secret Santas instead. Remember that we take the gifts to the store and then they surprise them Christmas Eve?”
“Oh yeah…I just wish I could see his face when he opens up his skateboard and soccer ball!”
If you have the ability, I highly suggest heading to your local Macy’s and picking a card from the Angel Tree. It doesn’t take a lot of investment (speaking from one about to be jobless) but it means so much. And it’s fun! It does a heart good and for me personally, gets my mind off of myself and the worries that can sometimes slow me down.
Plus, it’s really nice to feel like an elf. Or an angel.