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End Of The World, Say What?

December 21, 2012


Erin Schrader

Being that it’s the last day of our lives, I figured I should write some meaningful post on what this life has meant to me—what I hope to accomplish on my last day here (hello 5 pounds of mac and cheese), and so on. Except then that morbid thought crossed my mind of “well what if the world doesn’t end…and what if I freakishly die by eating all 5 pounds of mac and cheese…and then because I wrote this post about the last day of my life all national headlines would read “ACCOMPLISHED BLOG WRITER DOCUMENTS LAST DAY ON HER LAST DAY. LITTLE DID SHE KNOW”. See, I feel like I can say things like “accomplished blog writer” and national headlines in the same sentence now. This whole last day on earth stuff is really quite freeing.
Anyhow, because I don’t want to jinx myself…we aren’t going to go down that road today.
Same reason why my dog will never receive my inheritance (read: clothes).
I am way too much of a pansy to draw up a will or other life ending documents.
Act like you don’t all think these same thoughts people.
This is all really just a sick and twisted introduction to a post that I published last year on this blog.
I think there were maybe like 700 of you around at that time, so I am going to assume that nearly all of you have never read this.
Being that Christmas is quickly approaching, it’s good to be reminded of what really matters most as we get caught up in frantic last minute shopping, spiked egg nog, and rolling our eyes at yet another Christmas function that we have to attend.
Friday I will be heading back to the same Christmas party that I mention in the post below.
It is absolutely the most humbling, tear jerking, love filled activity that I want to be a part of right before the holiday. And sure, I may bawl for days on end because of the kids excitement over a pair of new shoes, but it is worth it. It is so so so worth it.

Meeting people at their needs. Connecting to hurt. Not running the other way because you are scared of what you may see or hear. It’s a new thing I’ve started trying the last couple of years and I must say, it is something that I never want to stop.

ps. Just for the record–I really don’t think the world is ending. I will however be spending my evening dancing around in a cute little one shoulder red dress at a friends wedding acting as though it is. I will maybe also go get a tattoo, break into an ice skating rink at 11 pm, and withdrawal my entire savings account and throw it around like confetti. Just in case.

Back to the post in point–

(first published December 2011)

My heart is SO full at the moment.
The last two days I have had the joy of experiencing what the real meaning of Christmas is all about.
Wednesday, I got to meet with my little guy that I “mentor”
{definition of mentor: pelt each other in the heads with dodgeballs, play Old Maid, and eat candy together}
Anyhow-with it being Christmas and all, I thought it would be a good idea to show that kid some love and bring him a few gifts.
After several “OH MY GOSH…YOU DID NOT NEED TO” moments, he decided what he wanted to do with one of the gifts I got him {candy canes}.
We marched throughout his whole school and handed out little candy canes to every teacher and volunteer we could find.
With every candy cane he gave, he offered a huge smile and belted out
 “Merry Christmas”
My heart melted.
Here is this child who does not receive much, but when he receives, chooses to give it away…
What a beautiful lesson to be learned.
Then there was Thursday.
I am so beyond blessed to work for the company that I do.
We give so much to the community and volunteer whenever possible.
For the past several years, our work has thrown a Christmas party for a local organization that houses “at risk” children. For many of the children there, this is the only Christmas that they get.
You guys have no idea the impact this had on me.
I sit here in tears thinking about those little ones.
The genuine joy and appreciation they had for the 1 {maybe 2} gifts they got, was incredibly moving.
Have you ever had moments of intense joy and intense pain all at once?
That’s how it was.

I came home last evening and tried putting into words to my husband what I witnessed,

and instead of words, I had tears. Tears that I did not think I could ever stop.
Little spirits are so precious.
It is so hard for me to fathom why some children have to live the life they are living.
I literally do not understand.
And it tears up my insides to think about.
I so often truly forget how insanely blessed I am.
It was in those moments these past few days, I remembered what the true meaning of Christmas is all about. It so easy to get caught up in the stresses of everything that is going on around us.
The gifts we have to buy {for the people who really do not need them},
the time we put into making the presents look so pretty,
the meals we have to cook for our loved ones,
the decor we have to get up to make our homes look pretty, etc.
It is in the moments of giving.
The moments of joy.
The moments of seeing a middle school student cry to santa that he does not care what he receives,
but that he just wants his family to have a good Christmas…
Those are the memories that I will remember forever.
May your heart be full this Christmas.
Love you all.


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