I’ve been out picking up toys and handing out toys this week. Most of the schools, banks and individual businesses collect toys for the Christmas Bureau and we are more than willing to get them, bring them in, sort them by age groups and make sure they go to deserving homes.
We have some dedicated volunteer drivers to do most of the toy retrieval, but once in awhile, just as I start to tell jokes, one of the ladies will hand me a piece of paper and send me off on a pick-up. Coincidence, I guess. But I don’t mind, because driving around with a truckload of toys for hundreds of boys and girls is as close to being Santa as you can get. I guess you could say I do it because it’s a ‘clause’ in my contract.
We have a tradition with a couple of schools in the City that involves some of our volunteers going to the classroom to talk about the Langley Christmas Bureau and explain our programs to the kids. Our people explain that the toys the kids have brought are going to less fortunate families that otherwise wouldn’t have toys under the tree Christmas morning. We feel it is important to show even the youngest in our community that they can make a difference in someone’s life.
As the kids bring their toy up to the box, they are asked to tell us what age group they have bought for and a sticky note goes on the toy for sorting. It is a rewarding experience for all, but this year the ladies came back with watery eyes as they related an experience during the session at the school.
A Grade 1 boy, about six years old, came up with a small toque. He handed it over and said, “I think this will be good for a baby.” Then he rummaged around in his pocket, pulled out a small shiny marble, handed it over and said, “And I think this would be good for a boy about my age.”
I think he had been listening, and there behind all the trappings and trimmings of the season, the noise and lights, the hustle and bustle, he found something that meant the world to him, and he gave it away. I do believe that’s how this all started many centuries ago.
If I asked you to stop reading for a minute and think about the best Christmas gift that you ever received, even you may be surprised what pops into your mind. I also bet it won’t be the most expensive gift you ever received either.
I remember getting a Visible V-8 Engine model one year. Once assembled and hooked up to batteries, you could see valves and pistons moving and spark plugs light up.
But what made it special is that my Dad worked on that model with me, explaining the mechanics as we went along. He was a busy man with a big family, a job and a farm, but for awhile, we worked together on that model and I got some of his time. I knew how precious that time was to him.
How many precious marbles do you have in your marble bag and how many are you willing to part with?
Put a little thought into your gift giving; make them gifts people will remember for years. At least that’s what McGregor says.