This season was especially meaningful to me.
I will admit that I am happy to turn the page on 2010.
I am ready to move forward.
We had many wonderful memories of this year,
and we had lots of parts I could easily forget.
I wanted the Christmas portion of this year to be a beautiful ending.
Christmas 2010 will be a happy memory.
By the end of it, I even thought,
"We almost have this down."
To sum up the week,
It was really busy.
There was a moment last week when I had to wait on someone ahead of me.
"How on earth does that person get through life moving SO Slow?"
And then I noticed that lots of people move really slow.
I think I would too,
if I could.
My favorite part of Christmas?
A week ago,
Caleb asked why we don't give the homeless presents anymore.
I stopped to consider.
I used to fill 10 stockings with gifts.
- A orange
- toothbrush and paste
- a water bottle
- and a gift card to McDonald's
The average cost was over $100.
And then we would go out the week of Christmas,
searching for people who looked like they needed some cheer.
I believe firmly in traditions,
and I never want to disappoint my kids,
so I did my best to put the gifts together again this year.
Only six this time,
and we used Santa bags instead of stockings.
I left out the toothbrush, toothpaste and orange.
It was still a good offering.
The week of Christmas had been just a little exhausting.
(Remember this is my journal,
and I write to remember,
and never to impress.
When I move tremendously slow,
I will think back to these years,
and wonder how we squeezed it all in.)
Dan worked 68 hours,
and volunteered an afternoon with the fire toy drive.
We managed a few trips to the temple,
and spent time with the kids.
There were all the usual chores,
the car washings,
and the extra Christmas needs.
The laundry was a major issue.
I was WAY behind,
and I so much appreciate my mother helping me round the clock for nearly 24 hours so I could finish.
We delivered the remaining Christmas to our final less-fortunate family.
I worked with little sleep all week so that we might have some fun together.
The day before Christmas Eve,
we got a call that a family in our neighborhood was moving at 7am Christmas Eve.
We were supposed to leave by 8.
It made me nervous.
Dan and the boys went to help.
He said it was the highest attended service project all year,
and it brought a great spirit to the holiday.
We loaded up for the zoo a little late,
but still had fun.
My Favorite part of Christmas:
We left the zoo and headed down Van Buren in search of 6 homeless people.
We found a lady,
and then spotted a group of 3 men on a bus bench.
We had to turn around and come back.
there were 4.
One was holding a paper bag with a bottle inside.
As Colin and I walked over to them,
the one was sharing his bottle with the others.
We handed the gifts to each man.
It's impossible not to notice how worn their faces were from years on the street.
The happy one (with the bottle) gave me a big hug.
I shook another man's hand,
and patted the others on the shoulder.
We wished them kindness,
As I got in the car,
the kids were chattering loudly.
"Did you know that guy mom?!?"
They burst into laughter saying,
"Why did you hug him then?"
Everyone needs a Christmas hug.
We headed deeper downtown looking for one more.
I finally told Dan to drive towards my brother's apartment,
hoping to catch him outside.
He wasn't there.
I wanted to cry to know that he lives in such a rough neighborhood.
We found our last guy,
sitting on another bench.
He had spread all his things around very comfortably.
Although it was chilly,
he sat barefoot.
"Well, at least we know he can use some socks."
The mood was cheerful,
and the shoeless guy was grateful,
and of course the kids noticed.
We drove away explaining why most people are homeless.
I fought back tears.
Why does life have to be so hard for some people?
I have never understood.
The children were happy to have served.
My ambitions for the week were complete.
We were ready for the festivities to begin.
I, with several of my cousins,
ended up sick on Christmas.
It was still really fun.
A wonderful Christmas would not have been possible without all the help from the children and Dan. I love you.