We finally did it. We took the plunge into the great shopping fest that many are caught up in for Christmas. This afternoon, Michael and I needed to go take care of some errands. Before coming home, we ended up in a shopping plaza with all our favorite stores. We aren't shopaholics, so this was definitely a treat. We started out going in that direction because I wanted to stop at the Mall, purchase some toys and drop them off at the Toys for Tots collection center. It's a big deal around here, radio stations promote this with on-site remote broadcasts, law enforcement come out with the toys they've gathered and the marines are there to help with all the work involved in the collection.
Because of the traffic flow, we decided to go to Best Buy first since it was on the way, to make a purchase of one thing. About 45 minutes later we were walking out with our one thing. As we came out of the store, we realized how nice the weather seemed and decided to just walk instead of taking the car from store to store. Just down the sidewalk from our first stop was a Kitchen Store. A-maz-ing place, and one I could get lost in. It's one of those places that has everything from glassware, cookware, silverware, specialty food items, food storage containers, knives, etc., etc. Another 45 minutes later, walked out with six things. Two items I have been searching forever for and finally found. It was like I had hit the mother-lode to find them there. Two OGGI Copper mugs to use when making one of our favorite drinks - Moscow Mules. Also amazing. The mugs are exactly what I wanted and an early Christmas gift to myself.
Then, walking a little further, we ran right into a Trader Joe's. Omg, who would have thought! It was as if the shopping gods were leading us in all the right places. I'm not the only one who loves this store, Michael does as well. It can be an adrenaline rush for sure. The both of us were able to find plenty of great food and drinks to put into our cart. Things we weren't even looking for, but were happy to find. Such as Pear Cinnamon Cider, Veggie Crisps, Turkey Chili and Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash. Plus, a bunch more stuff. We love this place.
So, after loading everything into the car, we started driving and thought, where are we going now? By the time we hit the highway, we realized we had not made it to the Toys for Tots collection center, nor had we even purchased a toy gift yet. Looking at the time, it was a little too late. We were tired, hungry, needed to get home, had plenty to do tonight and the time was flying by. So to our home we drove.
I'm sad to say that it was easy to put our giving goal on the back burner. After all, we don't shop much and all these stores were drawing us in. We were caught up in the moving crowds, loving the beautiful weather outside, and just having a great time. Right now, I feel a little sad. Sad that the things I bought for myself had nothing to do with toys, or gifts that I wanted for others. Somehow, I feel a little guilty splurging on myself.
As I sit here thinking about the events of the day, I wondered about the campaigns the Marines have yearly and wanted to know a little more about them. Toys for Tots was started in 1947 in Los Angeles, CA by a major in the Marine Corp. That year, 5000 toys were collected. The first being a hand made doll. The next year it was established as a nationwide, Marine Corp sanctioned activity. What I just learned was Walt Disney designed the Toys For Tots train logo. Fast forward to the campaign of 2012, over 16.8 million toys were distributed to 7 million children. I think they are doing something meaningful and significant and have had major support from corporations, charitable foundations, celebrities, and individuals. This year so far in New Hampshire, it has been reported they were about 30,000 toys short of their goal. Thus the big push this weekend for donations. I know it's a big deal. I know I should be giving. Like the Toys for Tots foundation believes " the American public will not let the Toys for Tots fail." But it takes many people making small contributions to fulfill their goals. I'm starting to believe that my gift really will make a difference. It would make a difference to one child who really would not have a gift to unwrap. The Marines make sure that all the requests are filled and that each child has something to be happy for on Christmas. Even with the millions of gifts donated, there are still many who won't receive anything. With this economy, that's not surprising. I get a sense that some of those who benefit the most from these donations, are the parents who want to be generous and giving to their children, but who must make hard decisions to put food on the table and provide a place to live. Gifts and extras come last or not at all. We are a rich nation, no one should go without.
So, you might be asking, what is the song for today? It's a strange one and rarely fits within a conversation about giving and providing for others. But it is a stark contrast to what some think this holiday is all about. Little do they realize it's not about the expensive, abundance of gifts we want for ourselves. Even though this song has a catchy, sassy, sultry tone, it's just another grown-up Christmas list, with a twist!
Here's a behind the scenes video recording of Santa Baby by Lina. Click here:
Santa Baby - Lina
Santa baby slip a sable under the tree for me
I've been an awful good girl
Santa baby so hurry down the chimney tonight
A '54 convertible too, light blue
Well I'll wait up for you
Dear, Santa baby
So hurry down the chimney tonight. Yeah
Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the boys I haven't kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you check off my Christmas list
I want a yacht
And really that's not a lot
I've been an angel all year
Santa baby so hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa, honey , there's one more thing
I really do need, the deed, to a platinum mine
Santa honey so hurry down the chimney tonight
Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Santa baby forgot to mention
One little thing a ring
And I don't mean on the phone
Santa baby so hurry down
The chimney tonight
Your challenge (and mine): Get to the Toys R Us (or other toy store), buy a toy or three toys, and drop them off at an official Toys for Tots location. On Christmas morning, when you are just waking up, you can be sure that some little child somewhere will also be waking up with the gift that you choose under their tree. Think of their expression as it's unwrapped. Let that put a smile on your face. If you can't get out, online donations are accepted. This allows them to purchase the needed gifts to fill the gap between what was donated and the unfinished list. Here's a link to the website: Toys For Tots Website for Donations.
Semper Fidelis. Always faithful.