Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Holiday Gifts


How wonderful in this time of economic uncertainty, to feel such hope and joy and gratefulness! This week I have received numerous holiday gifts - oh they weren't wrapped in paper and tied with a bow but they are gifts I'll remember nevertheless. A gift of the precious little voice of my grandson on the phone "Nanny are you coming to my house for Christmas"?, and then "I love you Nanny", the warmth of friendships renewed at a Christmas party, an appearance on a local tv station where I was able to once again talk about my book "On Being a REAL Princess", a wonderful music download from a good friend, the gift of an absolutely inspirational Christmas proclamation from our Convention Bureau with each staff person remembering their best Christmas story and/or a gift they received or gave. Their stories reminded me of one of my most memorable Christmases.

I was living in Atlanta, newly divorced with few friends in town. Christmas morning dawned with the realization that I had no one in my world to wish me a Merry Christmas. Thankfully, I had signed up to work at the Christmas dinner event for the homeless. It was a bitterly cold morning (not typical Atlanta) so dressed warmly, I trudged to the Marta station to take the train to the Convention Center site. As I entered the lonely terminal, I saw three little black children huddled together. I could tell that they were relieved to see a friendly face as I called to them "Merry Christmas". They explained that they were headed to the Christmas dinner at the Convention Center but their mother was unable to come because she had given her coat to one of the girls. Seated on the train, I looked down to see that they had no socks on their little feet. Shame washed over me at feeling sorry for myself that no one had wished me Merry Christmas. Well, it turned out to be quite the day for those kids! Because I knew some of the workers at the event, I used the little bit of influence I had to get them extra clothing, extra food, enough to take home to mom and miracle of miracles, the little boy won one of the bikes being given away that day. We even arranged for a ride to transport them and all their loot home. It was truly one of my best Christmases to see their shining happy faces and one I will never forget!