I have been unable to work my super part-time gig at the nursing home for the past two weeks due to census issues at the home. When too many beds are open my hours get cut. As much as I enjoy the time off I am not too crazy about the loss of income. With Christmas just around the corner the timing could not be worse. The inconvenience of decreased income in no way compares to what others are facing this holiday season with the unemployment rate hovering near 10%.
This time of year is always bittersweet for me. It is a time that I become painfully aware of what others lack in the way of basic necessities and general comforts that I take so much for granted. In a plea for holiday donations, the St. Paul newspaper highlights families in need. It is always heartwarming to read the follow up story that reports on the many contributions and how each families wishes were granted, yet, I know that there are so many more that go unmet .
I have been giving thought over the last week as to how our family can make a difference for others this Christmas. Some things that we have done in the past include buying a Christmas tree and a Target gift certificate and leaving them anonymously outside the home of a coworker of Tom’s whose family was experiencing financial setbacks. A couple of years ago we provided the money to purchase a goat for a family living in Africa. The goats milk would provide ongoing income for the family. We also participated in the shoe box campaign through the agency Samaritan’s Purse.
I realize that it is already pretty late in the game to be thinking of this only now. My sister-in-law has already purchased gifts for a family that they “adopted” through their church. So as the days become shorter and colder I will cocoon myself in the warm blanket that is my home and continue to ponder how I can best make this season more meaningful for another family.