Anyway, I am in Connecticut doing Christmassy things like decorating trees! Yay, trees. I'm a bit frustrated, though, because we're having a lot of guests, and as with every holiday, I am the only family member getting exiled from my own room. Come on, guys, can't I get to sleep in my own bed for a holiday ONCE? It bugs me because first off, I actually spend a decent enough amount of time here that one room is my room, unlike my brother, who shouldn't have a strong attachment to a particular room, or any of his stuff set up just so. Secondly, I am the one who helps with all the helpful hosty stuff. So what do I get in return? Yes, I will be the only person this Christmas who is relegated to sleeping on an inflatable for four nights. Everyone else gets a bed. Including all the guests. But I have to sleep on my parents' floor like I'm six.
This isn't to say I'm in a bad mood, because I'm not. But my parents always put me on the spot because they ask me what I would like, knowing full well that what I would like is not going to be presented to me as an option, and that would be that our guests would stop inviting other guests without checking with us first, and I would get to sleep in my own bed.
But that's sort of a small concern. Right now, I am really concerned with the sort of air of apprehension hanging over my friendslist. So many of you have lost jobs or have loved ones who've lost jobs, or have had hours cut, or can't find a job in the first place. And my heart goes out to you all so much. At first, I didn't really see the downturn in the economy hitting close to home, but now it does. I wish everyone could be as lucky as I am right now. There isn't much I can offer to anybody but I would like to talk about someone on my friends list whom I've known for a long time and just the feeling of optimism it gives me in spite of the hard times.
bunnymcfoo made a sort of hopeful request about, what, a week? Two weeks ago? Asking for people to donate money so she could help some kids in a shelter get some nice new underwear for Christmas. She put out a message asking people if they would help her get a couple hundred bucks together. I gave her $20-- I wouldn't normally do this for just anybody, but I've know bunnymcfoo for a really long time, and I know she's doing what she says she's doing with the money.
She now has over $2000 to help buy presents for the kids at the shelter. And it just touches my heart so much, because I know a lot of the people who gave money probably are not doing as well this year as they were doing last year, and they still found a way to reach into their pockets and give to the less fortunate.
Things are looking grim. We need to keep this spirit, the spirit I saw in bunnymcfoo's journal alive. The spirit of all being in this together, no matter what, where those of us who have today help those who don't, with the hope and expectation that when we're in those shoes, someone will do the same for us. We have to remember our love for our fellow human beings and figure out a way for all of us to keep going, no matter what. And people say this every year, but I mean it in a different way this time. We can't just do this during the holiday season. Please, this year, if you do anything, give something to someone who doesn't have as much as you do. I don't mean money, I don't mean charity-- I mean something given out of love, given to a person, not an organization. It's not that giving to charities is bad, and I encourage people to do that, too, but that's not what I'm imploring you to do. Give people things you normally wouldn't. Give to people you know, and don't know. It could be something stupid; if you don't have money this Christmas/Chanukah/New Years'/whatever you exchange gifts for, copy out a favorite poem, write a story, draw a picture, help someone scan their photos or organize their recipes. Use your talents, or if you don't think you have talents, use your time. If you do have money, give presents to people you wouldn't ordinarily think to give presents to. Please.
It's a Wonderful Life has a special place in my heart as one of the most important Christmas movies ever made. Like Clarence says in It's A Wonderful Life, No man is a failure who has friends. It's time to make new friends and strengthen old friendships. If we do that, we will all get through this together, with perseverance and with love. And maybe that's schmaltzy of me to say, but we need it right now.