giving“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”
― Kahlil Gibran

As we find our schedules getting busier and our to do’s lists for shopping, cooking and entertaining grow bigger each day, it is easy to see why the holidays can become quite stressful. The expectations and traditions to fill can be overwhelming … but, if we stop and shift our thinking to what the holidays are meant to be … giving (whether it by time, money, or loving attention to those in need), the holidays have the potential to be the most fulfilling time of the year!
From a very early age, I was very lucky to learn the gift of giving.  Every Christmas, my family and I would adopt a family or two that would otherwise not be able to enjoy the holiday festivities. We would get gifts for the adults and children and collect food for a big holiday meal. On Christmas Eve we would collect all the donations and presents and hand deliver the gifts. We would then go home and give one gift to each other, something that was very special. Christmas morning we would continue to open a few more presents under the tree, followed by a wonderfully warming breakfast and a day of rest.
Now that I look back, what I enjoyed the most was not what I found under the tree (these indulgences always faded quickly), it was the time we spent giving of our time and gifts with others. As I grew up, our traditions have changed, we have volunteered our time and resources through many different organizations, but I never lost the act of loving to give. It always felt natural and necessary.
As I now raise my son and daughter, the first thing I taught my son upon the birth of my daughter was to give to her before himself. This could be by giving her his toy, helping her down the steps as she learns to climb, making her feel better when she fell, or simply spending time with her. Each and every time he spent caring for his sister, he grew into a very caring young man, which translates in how he treats everyone he meets; it is pretty incredible to witness.
It is easy to look at what we have and compare it to others … and to want more, this is the kind of society we live in, where more is better.  But if we shift our focus on what we can give to others, whether it be our time, energy, or resources, we can start to see that the act of service to others can bring all the joy we have ever hoped for and in fact, we do have everything we could ever need.
Nourishing Storm is dedicated to giving this holiday season by adopting a lovely family, a single mom and son from Northeast, Philadelphia. The mom, Gina, is an aspiring social worker that works very hard to take care of herself and her son, Xavier.  Please help us make their Christmas unforgettable!!
A Wish list for Gina & Xavier
Xavier (son):

  • Fisher Price Team Umizoomi Come and Get Us Counting Car
  • InnoTab 2
  • Playskool Heroes Spiderman Stunt City Playset
  • LeapFrog Scribble and Write
  • Movies: Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story 1&2
  • Clothes: Shirts and Pants size 4T, shoes: 8 or 9

He likes Spiderman and Batman and things from the movie, “Cars”.
Gina (Mom):

  • Dots Gift card (http://www.dots.com)
  • Nail Salon gift card (Northeast or Glenside area)
  • Restaurant/Movie Gift card (Northeast or Glenside area)

Food: Gina would like to have a traditional Christmas meal for Xavier.

  • Ham
  • Holiday sides {i.e. veggies (canned or frozen), fruit (apples, bananas, oranges), potatoes, cranberry sauce}
  • Nonperishable foods {that a young child would like or that can be easy meals (mac & cheese, granola bars, nuts, peanut butter, etc}

If you are interested in making a donation towards their holiday dinner, or buying the family a gift or non-perishable foods, please email [email protected]. We would be happy to pick up the donation or arrange a place to meet. We will also be accepting donations at all our holiday events up until Saturday, December 22nd, 2012.