Remember my friend, the Angel Worker? She’s at it again. It’s not like she ever really stops, though. Back before Thanksgiving, she came home one night to find a man carrying a couple of empty jugs. They made eye contact. He asked if he could use her water spout and fill up his bottles. Of course, she said.
Fast forward days, weeks and now months and she has gotten to know that this man is married, has 5 children, 2 large dogs and they all live in an old, non-working RV that’s parked under a freeway. No running water (obviously), no electricity and no privacy. It’s not surprising to know that each family member struggles in their own way. The father copes using alcohol. The mother works jobs when she can find them. The girls help tidy up the “house” while the boys play rough and tumble with the dogs. The kids are ages 9, 10, 13, 16, and 18. And they are “homeschooled.” Really, they aren’t schooled at all. Sometimes they draw but it’s not clear what reading level these kids are even at (if any).
The Angel has taken to the kids, especially the three girls. Recently, the Angel and her Chef have had them over for dinner and a movie and then to help decorate the Christmas tree. They’ve never had one before. Much less presents at Christmas. According to the Angle, you can tell that they are somewhat awkward interpersonally, as they are a bit unsure in how to react in a social setting and are clearly uncomfortable even asking to use the restroom.
But more and more the kids are getting to know and trust my friend and her boyfriend. They’ve even decided to help at a volunteer event with the Angel. Interesting because they could use the food and clothing just as much as these other people. They went to a volunteer Thanksgiving event with the Angel and she could tell that they felt good helping out.
Then Angel decided that she was going to give the kids a real Christmas this year. Even her Church has pitched in and donated a gift certificate to a local restaurant so the family can have a nice meal on Christmas. And the kids have presents waiting for them under her tree. I’ve been hearing about this since she first met the family and for some reason I, too, felt pulled to help. My Mom and I went to the store and decided we’d fill stockings with fun little things for each kid.
And while there’s nothing fancy in them (we’re talking slim jims and nail polish!), I don’t think it matters. We actually had a lot of fun putting these together. Stockings were always my favorite part of the presents at Christmas. My Mom always wrapped everything–even underwear! And she always made sure to have the exact same number of stocking stuffers for me and my sister. We’ve long since outgrown all of the Christmas present hoopla. Maybe this will be a new Christmas tradition at our house. We’ve got more than enough stuff as it is. Why not spread it around a bit?
Tomorrow morning, hubs and I are joining in the volunteer event. There’s even a touch of Hollywood at the event–the Reverend putting this thing together is Ben Vereen. Only in L.A.
Only one more week until Christmas. Are you relaxed and not too worried about it or are you whipping yourself into a stress-filled frenzy because there’s too much to do and not enough time?