“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” - Paulo Coelho
Buttercup’s shattered ornament count is now at five, and Toffee Candy Snowflake is exhausting me.
This was a lot easier when my daughter was younger. She’s only five, but she’s starting to ask more questions. Like, “Dad, why doesn’t my elf’s eyes ever move?” and “Dad, why does my elf look just like the elf on the Elf on the Shelf cereal box?” and my favorite, “Dad, if my elf is really a magic elf, why does she have a tag on her back like my other stuffed animals?”
Ugh. I do not recall when I began questioning things like Santa or the Easter Bunny, but I think my daughter is well ahead of my pace. I don’t know how much longer we can keep up this charade. I continue to create stories and excuses to answer her questions, but I’m getting the sense that she really knows and is just playing along for my and my wife’s sake.
Perhaps she is just waiting until she feels we are old enough to break the news to us.
I first heard the song, The Twelve Pains of Christmas as a kid while riding in the back seat of my parent’s car. I thought it was hilarious, and it immediately became one of my favorite Christmas songs. My Dad found the song humorous as well, and anytime it would come on the radio, he would turn it up for me and exclaim, “here’s your song.”
Our favorite part was the ‘rigging up the lights’ guy on the second day of Christmas. You know how it feels when it seems a writer is writing directly to you? That’s how that part of the song felt to us. Putting up Christmas lights with my Dad was a yearly tradition. He was known for his short fuse, and mine is probably even shorter, which made this event even more volatile and probably entertaining for anyone watching.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but those moments spent on our front porch, lights strewn across it, my hands freezing from the cold, as I untangled cords and checked bulbs with my Dad are some of my favorite Christmas memories. More than the presents, or family get-togethers, it is the recollection of those simple events that instantly take me back to my childhood.
The other day on my way to work, this song came on the radio. It was the first time I had heard it since my Dad suddenly and unexpectedly passed away a little over three years ago. A huge smile instantly spread across my face. And for a few moments, it was as if I could feel my Dad sitting next to me. As I turned the volume up, I could hear his voice; “here’s your song.”
The song lasted only a few minutes, but for the remainder of the day, memories of putting up Christmas lights with my Dad flooded my mind. It’s fascinating how the simplest things can trigger the most amazing memories. Even more fascinating is how simple the events that underlie those memories can be. Being present and appreciating every moment is always important, but arguably never more so than during the holidays with family and friends. You never know which moments will become your future favorites.
This week, I’m highlighting mytwofrontteeth.org.
Taken straight from their website, their mission is:
to reduce the pain of poverty and help strengthen the bonds of society by bringing simplicity, efficiency, and personalization to the charitable gift-giving process, encouraging everyone to experience the incredible power and joy of giving.
I figured they could explain their process better than I could, so here is how they go about achieving their mission, again, directly from their site.
We research community organizations that work with underprivileged children and carefully choose our partners. We then give toy catalogs (20 toys under $25, selected by our staff) to these organizations to distribute among the children they support. On each profile card, the children tell us about themselves (name, age, favorite food, etc.), draw a picture on the back, and choose one toy as their holiday wish.
After collecting the cards, we scan the kids' drawings and enter their information into an online profile for each child. Sponsors from around the community can then visit MyTwoFrontTeeth.org, browse through all of the children's profiles, and sponsor a child (or two!) by completing checkout. The toys are bulk-purchased through our distributors and are shipped to the community organizations where they are wrapped and given to the children a few days before the holidays.
Proceeds from the sponsorships are placed into the MyTwoFrontTeeth.org Fund, which is used to fulfill the wishes of any children who were not sponsored. At the end of each holiday season, ten percent of the remainder is distributed to our community organizations, and the rest is used to help grow our operations.
This is an excellent option if you would like to have a positive impact and completely change a child’s Christmas for the better for no more than $25.
Mytwofrontteeth.org is U.S. based and only operates in the U.S.
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Toffee Candy Snowflake has truly been a gift to us all. 😂 You don't understand how much that name alone makes me laugh. Thank your daughter for me.
Love the phrasing of "future favorites" and this story about you and your dad! Making me laugh and then get in my feelings.
"I continue to create stories and excuses to answer her questions, but I’m getting the sense that she really knows and is just playing along for my and my wife’s sake.
Perhaps she is just waiting until she feels we are old enough to break the news to us."
This is hilarious. I guess it helps you lean into your imaginative self.