Monday, December 5, 2011

Rachel to the Rescue

Earlier today, I was feeling rather Scrooge-ish.  There are only 20 days left until Christmas and I am way behind on my shopping.  One reason, as I wrote in a previous post, is that I had a really difficult time developing a Christmas list this year.  (Actually, it is still not totally complete.)  The second reason is time - there just never seems to be enough of it.

This morning, though, I found a window of time and decided to make a run to Toys R Us.  Now, I despise the chaos that is Toys R Us during the Christmas shopping season.  Every year I vow to never go back and every year I end up going back anyway.  This year might just really be the last.  Really.  Seriously.  I mean it.

You see, I went in for 3 specific items.  The first one was listed online before Thanksgiving for $23.99.  Being the super savvy shopper that I am (haha), I decided to wait until cyber Monday to order it online.  On Cyber Monday, it was marked up to $39.99, not on sale, AND out of stock.  The second item I was planning to buy was advertised in one of the store flyers before Thanksgiving for $39.99.  On Cyber Monday, I discovered that it is only available in the store and today I discovered that it now costs $49.99.  Refusing to give into the pricing game, I went to plan B and began searching for an item I had originally seen at Target for $12.99.  Would Toys R Us have the same item??  Yep!  I could have taken it home for a mere $25.99, but I refused again.  I left Toys R Us in a huff with ONE extremely overpriced toy and thinking about how Toys R Us (and many other stores, I'm sure) is NOT representing the true spirit of Christmas.

But then I had a thought that changed my huffy, scrooge-ish attitude.  Do you know who does have the real Christmas spirit??  My amazing Rachel.  She has not asked for one single Christmas present this year (Believe me, I've asked).  Instead, she is much more focused on giving to others.  She has agonized over how she could get a gift for everyone she loves and, over the weekend, came up with a wonderful, creative idea that everyone is sure to love.  There's even more, though.

A couple weekends ago, out of the blue, she said, "I think our whole school should collect toys for underprivileged kids."  When she gets an idea, there is no stopping that girl.  With a little help from us, she emailed her principal, made flyers, made announcements at school, and put collection boxes in all the classrooms.  So far, the school has collected about 30 toys and there are about two more weeks until her deadline.  We are going to take all the toys to a local news station that works with the Salvation Army to collect and distribute toys to children who need them.

Rachel has this naturally giving, compassionate spirit that is a gift from God and continuously amazes me.  From becoming a vegetarian to her plans for changing the world, she embodies what Christmas is really about.  So, for the next twenty days (and hopefully all the time) I am making a choice to see Christmas through her spirit.  My kids and relatives will get gifts (but they won't come from Toys R Us), and I will spend most of my energy focusing on the things that really matter.

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