Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Soft hearts make for sadness

This time of year is particularly difficult for lots and lots of people, here and everywhere. The weather is bad, the holidays are coming, the usual family crap happens (or doesn't) and breaks hearts. The DH has been asking me what I want for Christmas, and aside from a few books, I can't think of a single thing I want or need. It was frustrating, really. I mean, who doesn't like to flounce out of bed on Christmas morning and open up all sorts of shiny new presents? I couldn't even think of anything the Bug wants or needs. (Except more candy, and more socks. That kid and his socks are a force of nature.) Anyway. I wanted this to be the next in a long list of perfect Norman Rockwell Christmases for the boy, with the twinkling lights and the homemade (Mexican) hot chocolate and the perfect presents, but I couldn't think of one single thing to get him.
And then I got the email for our company's Holiday Family donation thing. A list of things wanted and needed by a family that we will donate to. And I was shamed. I remember as a kid making huge long lists of things I wanted from Santa, or later, my parents. Excess. Spoiling. And I always got that, and much more. This family... The father? Needs a belt, and wants a baseball cap. A BASEBALL CAP! A simple freaking baseball cap and this man is happy. His two young daughters need long sleeve shirts and want dress-up clothes. His boy wants a NIGHTLIGHT. His wife wants a beanie and gloves. I can't even put into words what I'm feeling. (Of course, I will try, because I am nothing if not wordy.) Partly, I'm thrilled because, my god, a few of us here can help this family have wonderful new things. Partly, holy crap, my family is so lucky and we don't even realize it. (Partly major guilt because one time ten years ago I took an angel off a giving tree and didn't actually go buy that kid the toy she wanted. Yeah, still beating myself up over it, and no, I'm not gonna stop. The guilt pushes me to do something now.)
Anyway, the emotion bubbling up here is going to make me cry in my office, so we can't have that. What I want to know is: what is the world's softest superwash wool with the most beautiful colors? Where can I get a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles nightlight?
How do I make sure I teach this kid to make the world a better place?