Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

I've come to realize that around the holidays people generally fall into the following categories: people who love the holidays more than their first born, those who would rather gouge their eyes out than listen to a Christmas carol, and those of us who are trying not to kill anyone from the first two groups. Now, I've always been a fan of Christmas. There are presents, lots of homemade food, a few glorious weeks off from school, and quality time with family and friends. What's not to like?!

I've been extremely fortunate over the years. My family is far from rich, we've struggled and scraped and lived paycheck to paycheck, but somehow my wonderful parents always managed to put food on the table and put a few thoughtful presents under the tree. This, I know, is not the case for many, many people. This entire winter break I have been lacking some serious holiday spirit, and it's the first year in a long time that I've neglected to stop and reflect what this season is all about. Until I read this. The Bloggess has always been one of my favorite bloggers; author Jenny Lawson never fails to make me laugh out loud and cry at my computer (and generally all in the same post!). She rocks and deserves to know it.

This year, Jenny decided that she wanted to give back to some of her readers who are struggling to make ends meet this year. She planned on giving away twenty $30 Amazon gift cards to the first twenty commenters who explained why this gift card would make a difference in their lives right now. The results were amazing. The twenty gift cards went lightning fast, but something heartwarming also happened. Mixed in with all of the desperate comments from people across the globe looking for help, were comments asking jenny how they could get involved. For every single person who said they needed help, one person (and thensome!) stepped up to help them out. Jenny predicts that over 900 gift cards were sent out by 689 of her readers to 450 other readers--totaling over $40,000 worth of donations.

It was after reading Jenny's updates and an article written by The Washington Post, I was struck why it is that I love the community of bloggers. In a world in which there is so much negativity and struggling, that is only intensified by the holiday season, it is incredibly moving to be reminded that there are still so many normal people doing good, spreading kindness, and sharing love. And the thing that I am trying to keep myself mindful of as Christmas passes and the New Year comes, is that there are people who do things like this year round, too, with little recognition. So, thank you, Jenny, The Bloggess for starting this incredible chain of events. Thank you to everyone who donated and took part. And thank you to those who do great things like this everyday, in every country around the world. Our world is brighter because of people like you.

Wishing you all safe and happy Christmas! xoxo

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