Thursday, November 27, 2014


In lieu of a family gift exchange this year, we are sponsoring a family in need. I don't know why it took us so long to have this epiphany, as I am pretty sure the same chenille throw has been re-gifted among households for the last five years. As we talked about our plan with Morgan, I tried to explain that we have much to be thankful for this year, and that some families are just not as fortunate. I shared several stories of people I know, people who work hard every day just to make it from one paycheck to the next. These are rarely the people who ask for help; rather, they struggle quietly, never sharing the intimate details of daily hunger or the fear that comes each month when the rent is due.

As she often does when we talk about hard things, Morgan sat in silence for a few moments.

"Mom, can I talk to you in private for a minute?" (Morgan likes to ask me this when she feels uncertain or uncomfortable with something she's processing.)

"Sure, punkin." we stepped into the hall and she began breathlessly whispering into my ear.

"I just don't think it's fair."

"You don't think what's fair?"

"Well, if people are working just as hard as you and Dad, why do we have more than them?"

"That's a good question, one that I don't have the answer to. And it's not fair, because there are lots of families who will be cold and hungry this year, and there will be some kids who don't get anything for Christmas. But that is why we are going to try to help make Christmas a little better for one family."

"Maybe, Mom, maybe we could help more families. Maybe we could give them some of my clothes or my toys. Do you think that would help?"

I nodded. And then my heart burst. Because life is complicated and messy. And the older she gets, the more she understands that. And the more she wants to help.  And that makes me want to be a better mother, a better wife, a better friend. Because we are all in this together. 

To those of you fortunate enough to share today with people you love and cherish, relish these moments. To those of you tortured by the prospect of having to pass potatoes and cut turkey, be grateful you have potatoes to pass and a turkey to cut. And to those of you who are alone today, either by choice or circumstance, know that we are thinking of you. And we are doing our small part to make the holidays just a little brighter. Because, indeed, we are all in this together. 

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