I grew up in a family of eleven children and learned at an early age about not having an abundance of material possessions. While I was surrounded by love as a child, I still had difficulty at Christmas understanding why I couldn’t have all the gifts I wanted. And, looking back now, I know the adults who loved me regretted that they were not able to give me all I wanted for Christmas.
I remember that I never really thought much about being poor until Christmas came, and I saw all the toys my friends got for Christmas. In my family, when we got gifts for Christmas, they often were gifts of clothing or things we needed. When we received toys, they were meant to be shared with the other children in my family.
After I became an adult, I learned how hard it is to be a parent and not have the money to give my own children what they wanted for Christmas. I will never forget the year that I was not working because my job had been eliminated. I was humiliated that I did not have a job, and I was stressed that I did not have the money to provide my two sons with a nice Christmas.
That year one of my son’s teachers found out about our situation and surprised us by bringing gifts for the entire family. Then, a member of our church bought groceries for a fabulous Christmas dinner. I was so grateful for these angels and will never forget what they did for us.
These experiences from my life are why I feel so strongly about trying to help make the holiday season happy and memorable for every child, teenager and adult, especially those who are experiencing hard times. The Holiday Celebration we held at McMillen Park Center on December 16 was a big hit with the community especially for the children. Santa was there, as was the Komet’s mascot, and the Drums not Guns group. The bounce houses were a big hit as was the petting zoo. And the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament provided great fun and camaraderie among the various teams—of all ages. There were refreshments and so many giveaways and prizes-toys, books, bikes, turkeys. In other words, I think a good time was had by all, especially the children.
Another effort we make toward bringing holiday cheer to the children of the community is our participation in the Christmas Bureau program.
The Christmas Bureau made their annual visit to our office on December 11. As they do every year, that program connects a number of needy families among our clients with generous donors who shop and wrap gifts for these children and their parents. Their gifts are then brought to our office, and it’s a joy to see the parents of these families pick up the makings of a Merry Christmas for their families.
We’ve had our annual Office Christmas Party—a team-building activity for our staff including lunch and holiday-themed games. I feel I can say that with all of the positivity we’ve shared our team is all on the same page and giving these good vibes out to our client-partners.
All in all it’s been a giving and cheerful holiday season so far, which helps as we pass through these cold, short days of winter. As the weather outside grows frightful it’s good to remember that after December 21st daylight will start lasting a little longer each day. It may not be warmer outside for some time, but it will be brighter.
Latest posts by Richard A. Stevenson - Wayne Township Trustee (see all)
- UPDATING ELIGIBILITY STANDARDS – Voice Of The Township - June 22, 2018
- REMEMBERING GRANDPA – Voice Of The Township - June 8, 2018
- POVERTY CAN COME TO US ALL – Voice Of The Township - May 25, 2018