17 December 2005

Holiday Spirit

I just finished baking around 25 dozen cookies to give out to friends, neighbors, and the kids I babysit for as gifts. I've been wanting to do this since last year, but just never had the time until now. There's something really great about giving something of yourself to a friend.

Yesterday, one of my coworkers announced that her neighborhood was doing a collection of gifts for a soldier over in Iraq-- they decided to mail it out after the holidays, so as to give people plenty of time to donate, and in the hopes that mailing it right after Christmas would mean he'd get it as an extra surprise. The soldier had given his family (who lives in the neighborhood) a list of stuff he wanted. My friend and I got a huge kick out of the fact that he wanted AXE body deoderant (do they show those commercials in Iraq? If so, we really did liberate that country) so we went to Wally World during lunch and did the smell test. Warning to all male readers: AXE does not smell as pretty as it's marketed to be. One of the scents was actually "Tsunami" which, along with being really un-PC at the moment (which I got a kick out of) made my friend react with, "What the hell does that smell like? Blood and dead trees?" So, we got the soldier a TAG and wrote him a note that said it was guaranteed to make him turn the ladies on and kick insurgent butt. As a special treat, we also got him the latest issue of Maxim. Huzzah for the troops!

Our neighbors are actually extremely cool, something that isn't very common anymore. Our friends help the family down the street hang up their Christmas decorations, and in turn, the mom of the family went around last night collecting for another family whose house had just caught on fire that day. While she was talking to my mom, I went outside and played with her kids, who spent most of the time beating each other up (they're two young boys- go fig) while I yelled "AWAY FROM THE CONCRETE!!!" I asked them if they were getting ready for a visit from Santa.

"Yeah, you should see our house!" one replied.

"I did- it looks great!"

"No, on the INSIDE!"

"Oh, do you have your tree up?"

"No. But we've got a fort!"

"Wow! Santa loves forts."

"Huh?"

"Santa likes forts the best."

"How do you know?" the younger one asked.

"Experience."

"Ha," the older one replied, "experience."

The kid is a smarty at six. He's going to be a rocket scientist.

There's something so lovely and normal about doing for others. What a great way to spend Shabbat.

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