Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sub for Santa

I have so many things to do right now, and the thought of doing a single one of them overwhelms me, so i'm going to blog. I've put off so many things till the last minute, b/c the last 10 days have been consumed by a Sub-For-Santa project we did this year. With the help of about a bizillion people, we were able to "adopt" two families this year. It's taken over my life for the past 10 days. but it's been an awesome 10 days. I have about 2 minutes to write about something that has been a life-changing experience. Although I did most of the leg-work for this project, it was because of all the donations from friends, neighbors, friends of neighbors, neighbors of friends, etc that we were able to give so much to these two deserving and needing families.

talking to the families, trying to get a "wish list" was harder than you might think. For example, when talking to one of the 12 year old boys, i tried to get him to tell me what he wanted for Christmas, and all he could keep saying was "I just need pencils and paper, that is all." I asked him if he'd seen any commercials on TV that advertised something he wanted, and it was very clear that it had NEVER crossed his mind that he could request something that he saw on TV. He had no idea how to ask for a want. It was the same way when i talked to the moms of these families. All they wanted were shoes, jeans and warm clothes. can you even imagine? i mean, the fact that you have a computer and are reading this blog using the internet that have $$ to pay for monthly means that you, like me, probably really can't even imagine it. Well, we finally pried some other requests out of them, sent out some emails, and got such a HUGE response--it was AWESOME. I spent the next days collecting items, sorting toys, clothes, etc, and then we had a 6-hour wrapping party on Tuesday night. we were up until 1:30 am, but it was so much fun!!

I foolishly thought that we could fit all the gifts in our van with all the seats removed, but about half way through the loading process, we realized that wasn't going to happen


So, we loaded the trunk of our small ford escort, and still had more gifts in the house...
So, we loaded the back seat of the car, and still weren't done....
so we loaded the passenger's seat, and it just barely fit.


We set off last night, after the big girls were down and our dear neighbor was here with them, to play Santa. The first family we delivered to was so sweet, so humble, and of course had a FULL ON DINNER waiting for us when we went to drop off the gifts. She really didn't know how to thank us with words, (which is why she made the dinner). She kept thanking us for the visit, and for our time, but never thanked us with words for the gifts. I have no doubt that she was extremely grateful for all we dropped off, but she just couldn't say it. She was so sweet and kind and simple. It was really great to visit with their family. But because of dinner we were really late getting to the second family, where the 6 year old boy was anxiously staring out the window awaiting our arrival. This family seemed a little better off than the first, but still with so little. We had a fun time visiting with them, talking about their family and their traditions, and teasing the kids about not peaking at their gifts, especially the 3 bicycles that were in their front room :)

I could write for hours and hours about this experience and all that i've learned, and ways my mind has changed about things i used to think. But i don't have time!!! I just have time to say that this has been the best Christmas EVER and with a little more time, and better planning, next Christmas is gonna beat it!!

5 comments:

Reid said...

You are amazing! Thanks for setting this up and for letting me be a part of it. This has been an awesome experience. I love you.

Denita said...

You really are amazing Emily. You DO what so many of us only THINK ABOUT! Just think what your rewards in heaven will be...

theultimatemama said...

you are so awesome! i'm going to tell you AGAIN how much i love you and how amazing you are!!! i strive to be more like you my dear.......

Amanda said...

Emily, you are one of the most amazing people I know. I always have some excuse about my time and energy levels that prevents me from doing stuff like this, but you go out and do it regardless of your time and energy restraints. It sounds like it was a life changing experience for you guys. What a great way to spend Christmas!

Adrie said...

Emily,
This was so inspiring! You'd better stop being so great, or you'll find yourself translated--and the rest of us here are really gonna miss you! Thanks for the fun read, I really enjoyed it!