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Well, it's begun.

Family and friends have started asking me what I want for Christmas this year. Each year it gets more difficult for me to come up with tangible gift ideas. The truth is, there isn't much of anything I'm lacking. I'm not saying that to brag, but because it's a realization I've come to over the last few Christmases. A lot of this comes from working at the Christmas Baskets Program here at Dove. I look around a room filled with hats and gloves, toys and gift items that will go to about 350 families - around 1,300 individuals, and it dawns on me every year how lucky I am. How thankful I am. How easily things could change for me and I could be one of those in need of a basket for my family for the season.
Each year I take calls from people who are facing hardship: the recent death of a spouse or provider, a job loss just a couple of months before the holiday season, a family with so many medical expenses that they can't afford Christmas dinner and presents for their children. It's heart-wrenching to listen to, and I can't imagine having to experience it, and yet I'm always aware that it could be me. It could be you, too. It's why every donation and volunteer at the Christmas Baskets is so vital.
Each toy donated is one more child that we can provide a gift to on Christmas morning. Each dollar given is one we can use to purchase toys, hats and gloves, and wrapping paper. Each hat and gloves set brought to us can assure that one more person can stay a little warmer this winter. Each volunteer who comes to help during baskets week ascertains that the baskets get packaged and delivered to the families we=re serving on time.
I remember as a child how enthusiastic I would get each day closer to Christmas. Everything excited me. The music, the lights, the food, the presents. Seeing the stores all decked out with decorations, and then putting up our own decorations at home and at my grandma=s. I still love Christmas, but there=s a certain amount of bittersweet heartache that goes along with it now, knowing there are so many people in need and that no matter how many people we help, there are more out there that we will never even know about. I suppose this is all part of being an adult and losing the easy fantasies of youth.

When people ask me what I want this Christmas, the truth is now that things I wish for aren=t tangible. There is a song that best sums it up for me, and made popular by Amy Grant titled, "My Grown Up Christmas List." The lyrics to the chorus are as follows:
No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start
and time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end,
This is my grown-up Christmas List.

Items Needed for the Christmas Baskets Drive:Items for infants (clothes, toys, diapers, etc.) Gift items for teen boys (hoodies, cologne, watches, games, etc.)Wrapping paper, tape, gift sacks of ALL sizes (doesn=t have to be Christmas-oriented)Hats and gloves and scarves


We will need people to deliver baskets on Saturday, December 23rd, starting at 8:30 AM.  If you are able to deliver to places out of Decatur (Mt. Zion, Moweaqua, Blue Mound, Macon, etc), please call Angie ASAP and let her know that you're able to do this. Traditionally these clients have had to pick up their own baskets from Decatur but if you're willing, we=d certainly appreciate it!



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