Well, I've done it this year. For the last few years I've thought about joining the Reditt Gifts Secret Santa. I talked myself out of it the last couple of years. This year, I joined. I got the address of the person I was to send a present to a couple of weeks ago, and he has received my gift.
I received an email Monday afternoon that my secret Santa has shipped my gift to me. I'm now transported back to being a kid again. I'm so excited that I can barely stand it. I can't wait to get the package and rip it open to see what my secret Santa has sent to me! Please don't be frightened if you drive by my house and see me staring at the mail box for the next few days. I really haven't lost my sanity yet.
However, in all of this holiday excitement, the adult me has to remind my inner child that it isn't the receiving that is important. It's the giving that is the greatest gift of all.
I am reminded of that in several ways. The teenager that I sent the gift to posted a pic of the gift that I sent. He thought the knit hat (that I made myself) was "really cool," he was getting ready to read the book I sent, and he was happy to find the toys for his dog and cat. (His dog loves the rope ball that I sent.) It was heartwarming to know that I got a thank you, since I worried that he would not like the content.
I still send letters to the troops overseas. This time of year, I include a Christmas Card with those letters. I've been volunteering with the Soldiers Angels Letter Writing Team since June 2012. Where has the time gone? Even though I don't hear back from most of them, it still makes me feel good to send them a holiday card during the Christmas season. They are giving up time they could be with their families to be wherever they are. They at least deserve to know that they are being thought of, and that people really do appreciate them.
On the local news, I learned that an animal shelter was starting a "break out" this year. Their goal is to find foster homes for every dog and cat in their shelter during Christmas. The foster family comes and gets their furry friend on December 24 and returns the animal on December 26. I love this idea! This gives these dogs and cats time to be out of their cages and socialized in a loving home, even if it's just for a little while. I know this may be hard to do; it will take dedication to foster an animal during Christmas, but I hope the animal shelter reaches their goal of being an empty shelter for two days. Who knows, maybe some of them will find their forever home.
Now, before I let my inner child go out to check the mail box, let me wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!