Santa Helpers

NEW THING #58:

LET'S HELP SANTA

I hated Christmas growing up.

All I remember is rush, stress, crazy amounts of cleaning & helping to make tiny pierogis, lots of time sitting in the car, and then at the table. The traditions felt like chores.

Everything was food-centred (luckily Polish Christmas dishes taste like heaven). So when it actually came to the family time, everyone was pretty tired.

But even though I was not too fond of Christmas as a kid, I always had hot food at the table, presents under the tree & the family memories I can laugh at now. Not everyone is so fortunate.

Kelowna Santas

So this year, I was helping Santa (with Kelowna Santas) to wrap gifts for those families who otherwise wouldn't get them. I mean saving Christmas quite literally for those kids.

The whole experience was top notch. And it's so much about the community. Local businesses collect toys from local people. Then they are sorted by age. And then the bunch of volunteers from the community come in to help Santa wrap & deliver the gifts. 

How did it work? 

  • I arrived and was greeted by volunteers who gave me a sheet with the name tags to be attached to the gifts and all the info I needed about the family I was wrapping gifts for. Like the number of kids, their names, gender, ages, and any special requests. The family I got had 5 children, so I had a lot to do.
  • Then I "went shopping" - which means looking for gifts that best suit each kid. All the toys were sorted in bins by age & gender. Bins for older children included gift cards, cosmetics, clothes, jewelry, small appliances, etc. Apparently, these older teenagers are the most overlooked when it comes to getting gifts.
  • Once I got all the things, I wrapped them and attached name tags. Gifts for the whole family together with the  and the family sheet were then packed into bags that were taken by the volunteers who were then helping Santa deliver them to the families. 
  • When I was finished, I could go back & pick another sheet with gifts to wrap. I wasn't counting, but I believe that in 3 hours, I managed to wrap gifts for 4 or 5 families. In total over 1000 gifts were wrapped and delivered that day!

Was it worth it?

Obviously! Saving somebody else's Christmas is the best! You're not only help someone, but you also get to feel like an awesome human! Over the years, I joined many similar Help-Santa kinda initiatives in different places where we lived and it's my favourite Christmas tradition.

And I encourage you to check out the Santa helpers teams in your area because there are awesome initiatives around the world that make this season full of kindness & giving.

And let's be honest, the big guy can't do it all by himself!

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