Each and every year during the holiday shopping days of December, tips of my fingers feel the softness of sleeping baby dolls. Ears listen to Thomas’s bright red engine while colored buttons with bright lights flash and shout, “Green, Tri-Angle” or “Blue-Circle!” With new grandchildren climbing aboard my own train this Christmas, my shiny cart of silver steel was filled to the brim, barreling toward the nearest check-out, albeit missing one black wheel.
The next day, assorted piles surrounded me. I sat on our maple floor of stained cinnamon. Behind and to my right, a beautiful golden glow exhaled from inside the fireplace. Deep, coffee-colored knots, striations of grain and other imperfections shined within the wood of long, wide planks. “What a picture,” I marveled to myself. “One that only nature could begin to paint.”
Sorting gifts into piles, I quickly realized that I had far too many presents! Did my two-year old grand-daughter really need three different baby dolls, one that even sparkled and shined? Could my precious one year old change a ‘pretend’ diaper or whisper a doll to sleep in a new stuffed rocking chair? Is it possible for my little 8 month old grand-son to dump a truck or play the drums?” And the twins…well, they aren’t even here yet. Still, Santa’s bag has several presents to put under the tinseled tree for the two nearly-to-be.
Grabbing a couple of plain brown paper bags, I began to fill them with toys and clothes my grandchildren really don’t need. Instead, there are other kids who truly do. Tomorrow I’m off to one of the local charities in our community. A nondescript block building where volunteers collect food, clothing and toiletries for all kinds of people. People who are much like you and me. Some are sick while others have lost their jobs. Many work, but can’t quite make it from month to month. Others have no home to call their own except for a car parked at the curb. There are young families, elderly couples, single parents and veterans who have proudly served our country. Shhhh…rumor has it that Santa will be stopping by, passing out toys to every little girl and boy!
Another lesson learned for me. Little ones in life simply want the precious gift of time. That alone is pure magic, enough to light a candle of wonder behind dreaming eyes of innocence.