Me, Dani, Joni at a band competition in 2000-ish
One of my favorite Christmas presents ever was a jacket.
I worked hard in school. Really, really hard. These days I look back and wonder why in the world I worked so hard. I think there was some competitiveness in there and perfectionism. Maybe some tall expectations on my part. Perhaps even wanting-to-fit-in-ness.
I was smart in school but I wasn’t one of those that naturally got it. I couldn’t just listen to a lecture, forget to study and still pass with A’s. I was the one studying for hours, crying over my notebooks, trying to memorize every single word.
My hard work paid off in the end though. I mean, I think. I probably could have enjoyed a lot more moments instead of studying, but it literally paid off. I ended up with a half scholarship to the local University based on my grades and SAT score.
I was only a teensy 10 points away from moving my scholarship from half to full though, so we decided I should take the SATs one more time. Sure enough, I improved by 10 teensy points and landed a full scholarship to Winthrop University.
So, for the last Christmas of high school, I asked to get a green hooded zipper jacket with my school’s name embroidered.
Sitting on the couch in my grandmother’s living room, I knew what the big wrapped box being handed my way had in it. If I remember, I wasn’t supposed to know but somehow I had found out. It wasn’t even a surprise when I unwrapped it, but I burst into tears.
Somehow that green jacket validated all my hard work. I was going to college. For free. The late nights studying and worrying and memorizing suddenly were all validated in that moment and that little jacket was like a constant congratulatory hug.
I want to provide that moment of validation for others this Christmas.
For a mom, I want her to know the late night feedings, dirty diapers and constant attention was worth it.
For a child, I want her to know that even when she feels unseen and unchosen, someone still is thinking of her.
For the family struggling to provide, I want them to know all the hard work to provide for their family isn’t in vain.
Compassion is asking this Christmas what the phrase “It’s About Giving” means. To me, giving gifts is about providing these special moments. Moments they realize someone cares about them, someone sees them, someone is validating what they’re doing.
We have the opportunity to give these moments through Compassion’s gift catalog to some people that really, really need a moment.
The cool thing is if you give, I have a chance to give too. For every $1,000 given through these campaign links, a blogger has a chance to give an extra $50 their sponsored child. Oh, how I want to be able to give that!
Would you consider including Compassion’s gift catalog as part of your giving this Christmas? The gifts start at just $4. We can make a difference this Christmas. And not just a difference, a moment.
I don’t normally ask it outright, but please consider sharing this post with your friends and family? I love Compassion and what they do and would love to see this opportunity they’re providing shared.