Yesterday afternoon, I took my son shopping in the toy department at TJ Maxx. I LOVE me some TJ Maxx…because there is just so much great stuff all in one place, and most of the prices are marked down, which is a total bonus, especially with the holidays approaching.
And before you go getting all “judgy” and start pointing your finger at me because you think I shouldn’t be taking my child toy shopping, then let me emphasize the fact that we were not toy shopping for HIM.
A few of my friends and I have adopted a couple of local families this year in an effort to give them a nice Christmas with some presents under the tree. I am in charge of a 21-month old little girl and 4-year old little boy, so I thought it would be fun to take my son with me to help me pick out a few items for each of them.
As he and I strolled the aisles, I felt kind of a wave of guilt come over me. You see…money has been a bit tight around here lately ever since the unexpected 8-days we spent living in a hotel when the power went out at the beginning of November. We spent way more money than we had prepared to spend around this time of year…so I’ve had to sort of juggle some things around to make sure all of the bills get paid on time. And I haven’t exactly been a good sport about it. AT ALL.
Ok…back to the guilt.
We may have had to cut a few corners lately, but not ONCE have we worried about whether or not there would be presents under the tree on Christmas morning.
Not ONCE have we worried that our son would be disappointed that Santa Claus had short-changed him.
And thinking about the gifts that we will most certainly have on December 25th also brought me to another realization. Not ONCE during the season have we worried about whether or not we would be able to put food on the table.
We seriously have no business complaining, bitching, moaning, or any of the above. We really have it pretty damn good.
But there are plenty of families right here in our own hometowns who aren’t so lucky. And you and I can help them out just by dropping off a few items at the local food pantries that we most likely already have in our own homes.
Here is a list of the items that are most needed in food pantries this time of year:
Canned fruits and vegetables
Canned meals such as soups, chili, pasta
Pasta sauce or spaghetti sauce
Macaroni & cheese
Canned protein – tuna, chicken, turkey
Beans – canned or dry
When you sit down to Christmas dinner this year, make sure to say an extra blessing for the fact that you weren’t worried about whether or not dinner would be served. (And savor every bite and don’t bitch or moan about the calories or how full you are either, because calories and fullness are luxury items for many people less fortunate than you).
And also remember that there are plenty of people, especially children, who go hungry in this country each and every single day…not just during the holiday season.
Want to know how you can get your family and community involved in helping fight hunger? Make sure to check out ConAgra’s Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign to see how you can make 2012 a little brighter for a lot of kids out there.
Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation as a blogger correspondent for ConAgra’s Child Hunger Ends Here campaign, however, all opinions and views expressed in this post are my own.