Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful little turkey

Christmas is one of my absolute favorite times of year, and I honestly couldn't be more excited that the holidays are here! Robert and I try to go to New York at least once a year, and have decided to take our trip in December this year. I looove snow (aka the Floridian likes snow for a week, then is ready for mid-70 degree weather for the rest of December) and I'm super excited to see NY during Christmastime again. We usually go during baseball season (since one of his birthday presents usually consists of Mets tickets), and have yet to go together when all the Christmas decorations are up. A couple of years ago, I went for a journalism conference at Columbia in early December and absolutely fell in love with the whole city at that time of year. From the ginormous Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, to the perfectly decorated shop windows on 5th Avenue, to the feeling of walking through Central Park after it has just snowed. Okay, okay... I know that's kind of cheesy, but it just gives me this warm fuzzy feeling that you don't really get with Christmas in Florida. The last time we had snow was in 1989... That's right, 21 years ago. And (make sure you're sitting down for this one...) it was a whopping 2 inches of snow. Whoo hoo!!! If I can find it, I'll post the picture of us all out the front yard in our little "blizzard" making snow angels. Every time I see that picture it cracks me up. I literally looked (and felt like) the Michelin Man walking through the yard, with the 317 layers my mother had me in. You know in "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie's little brother falls over in the snow and can't get up? Yep... that was me. So, needless to say, I'm very much excited to escape the Florida warmth for a week and head up north. Since our coldest days tap only into the 30s and 40s for a couple hours, my winter wardrobe is seriously lacking. I guess that just means I'll have to go shopping... sigh. ;) I mean, I may or may not have been spent a 2-3 hours a day for the past week looking at adorable winter coats and outfits. Soo yes. I'm very ready.

On a slightly different note, I think it's so important to remember what this season is for. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this time of year should be about being thankful, being selfless, and thinking of others before ourselves for a bit. It's so easy to get caught up in all the parties, presents, and overall excitement of the holidays... and rightfully so, to a degree. Don't get me wrong, spending time with loved ones and "enjoying" the season is definitely a huge part of it. And I'm all for partaking in holiday festivities! :) A couple of years ago right before the schools were letting out for winter break, I was working with a teacher in her 5th grade classroom. A little girl (who was usually very shy, didn't talk much, but always did her homework and did well in school) came up to us and said "Mrs. C, can we come to school over winter break? Like, will it be open?" The other teacher and I looked at each other a little confused, and Mrs. C said "Well honey, I'm pretty sure the school will be locked up. They usually clean it over breaks. Was there something you needed?" The little girl looked a little sad and sighed. "Oh..." she said. "It's just that... well, we don't have breakfast and lunch at my house. And I was hoping I could could come to the cafeteria to get something to eat." My heart just sank. The girl received free breakfast and lunch daily at school, and didn't know what she was going to do over break. The teacher told me that after long weekends, the girl would come back to school a few pounds lighter, and very hungry. The parents both had drug problems, and the little girl was basically in charge of raising her two younger brothers... at 10 years old. I wanted so badly to tell the little girl to come to my house every day and I would feed her breakfast and lunch. It just absolutely tore me apart. Each year since that day, I always think of that little girl when school lets out for break. For the most part, none of us have to really think about whether or not we're going to have gas in the car, heat in our house, or breakfast and lunch to eat. The last thing I want is to come off "preachy," but I just wanted to share that story with you all. If you get some extra time, please donate a meal to someone who needs it, or an extra $5 to an animal shelter to give a blanket to an animal who will spend its holidays on the cold floor of a pound. To us it's just some extra cash but to someone who needs it, it could be the best Christmas present they get... or maybe even the only one.

On a lighter note, I'd love to hear about your holiday plans! Going anywhere fabulous? Or maybe even just staying home and doing absolutely nothing (which, I am a firm believer in sometimes being the best "vacation" there is).

Lastly, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who read my blog! It really means so much to me that you all take interest in it, and I'm thankful for each and every one of you every day. I love hearing from you, so please don't be shy! :)

Goodnight y'all!


SEW said...

New York in December is my dream!! My best friend and I plan on taking a trip there when we both get "real" jobs! We are taking a mini vacation to DC next month so I'm excited to see the decorations they'll have. I looove Christmas decorations!

Life, Love, and Labs said...

I just visited DC for the first time a couple of months ago to visit a friend of mine and loved it! I'm sure its GORGEOUS at Christmastime... You'll definitely have to post some pictures!