Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Holiday fun

This morning I was showered, dressed, and in the Kmart at 7am.  That sounds like the opposite of 'Holiday fun', right?  Especially since I am not a morning person.

But the reason for this oddity is because I was shopping for a needy family for Christmas.  Kmart opens the store to us an hour earlier than usual (hence 7am) and generously takes 10% off the totals.  I arrived on time, armed with a thermos of coffee to help me wake up.

About a month ago my local realtor association had a big Mardi Gras-themed fundraiser to raise money for this specific shopping event.  As in years past, I paired up with my friend Joey and we accepted the need/wish list for a family with 7 kids, ages 1, 2, 4, two aged 5, 6, and 7.  The family's profile indicated the family was homeless; all 7 kids staying with their grandfather (whose probably younger than me considering the children's ages), and there was no mention of the parents.  While their situation is sad, we did feel joy in shopping for them and getting as much as possible from their list. 

The 5, 6, and 7 year olds needed coats, so we got those.  All 7 kids needed shoes or boots so we got those too.  Each child got a complete outfit (pants and shirt or sweater), and all the kids got toys except the 1 year old.  Since the kids likely don't have their own beds, we also picked out fleece throws with matching stuffed animals for them to curl up with at night like this one, possibly on a sofa or recliner.  (The arms and legs open to release the fleece throw.)  Next week I will participate in wrapping these and other gifts for the needy families.

After shopping I headed to work, but left early in order to get ready for dinner and the Rehoboth Beach Christmas parade.  Spouse & I met Steven & Thad and Joe P and his 2 friends from PA for dinner first, then I slipped away to adorn Big Ella with lighted wreaths and bows. 

It rained all day long and we anxiously awaited the official word from the parade sponsor to see if they were going to cancel the parade.  Fortunately they decided to keep the parade on schedule since the radar showed the rain moving away from the area.  However, it didn't really stop raining until minutes before the parade, which caused some participants to cancel and resulted in a much lower than usual attendance.  But we had a great dinner together and still had fun at the parade.  At least it wasn't bitter cold like last year.


joe c said...

How heartwarming and kind. You're one of the good ones Mark :) The world could use a lot more people like you!

anne marie in philly said...

big ella looks nice all dressed up!

don'tcha wish you could be a fly on the wall when the kids open their presents?

Anonymous said...

I love Big Ella! I'm glad you're helping to make a good Christmas for the children.

Thank you,

Biki Honko said...

What a wonderful idea to buy them fleece blankets and a stuffed toy to cuddle and to hold them! Bright guy you!! When reading the 7am rise and shine I was horrified, but giving up a morning of sleep for something that terrific is worth it.

So, the Kmart opens early, AND gives discounts? I'm stunned and shocked! That really makes the dollars stretch and you dont have to fight the crowds either. Can any charity that are xmas shopping come early?

Big Ella looked fantastic! Go Ella!

Rick said...

You bring out the best in Big Ella.
Kudos for being so kind and helpful to others. That's really what Christmas is all about, especially children. It's discouraging when everyone around you has so much this time of year. When I ask my nieces what their little ones wanted for Christmas they say oh they like $100 bills. I'm thinking a candy cane.