Boxing Week “Blow-Out”!

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christal-christmas-blog.jpgWell, while many of you fought the crowds in the malls all over Canada, we were in the middle of a crazy crowd of our own, here in Dominican Republic. That is about where the similarities end! Today, six Canadians, one Italian, and one Dominican Santa Claus showed up in my one of my favorite places on earth: a small village in Dominican Republic where many of my friends currently live. They are all desperately poor and hungry, and today, for a little while at least, we were able to bring some cheer to their world. We brought 300 gift bags with awesome toys, as well as 150 bags of groceries, supplied by a few amazing Canadian sponsors. We threw a bit of a ‘party’ and handed out the goods.
As I stood at the steps of the community church that we were using for our base with the supplies, I looked out at the crowd: mothers desperately pushing their kids through to the front, children pulling on my arm, hoping that they won’t be forgotten, and babies either laughing or crying in the midst of the chaos…It was a dream come true! Santa set up inside the building, and we let the children in one by one, and as they got their bag of toys and candy, the looks on some of their faces was priceless! Some of them laughed with joy when they got the toys and some jumped up and down; some started to cry because they were scared of this big man sweating and laughing in a funny red suit (did I mention it was 32 degrees Celsius today?), and some reached out and hugged us in excitement when they got the bag. It was the best Christmas of my life! Standing on that step, I was thinking about how many years of my life that Christmas has revolved around me: what I can get, what I want, what I come away with. Today, life was made beautiful, yet again, as I saw lives that were touched by simple kindness. This is what purpose feels like and this is what we were created for. Mother Theresa once said, I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. This is what I found today. My heart is so in love with these people because their struggles and successes are really my own too; we are together in this.

I don’t know what it is like to have to wonder which one of my children I will feed, or if I will be safe today, or if there will be food for tomorrow. I have lived a life of luxury where my wish was Santa’s command, and where ‘nothing to eat’ really just meant ‘nothing I was interested in’. This was the best Christmas ever because I have realized something that has kind of left me speechless: yet again, I walk away from this experience having received something. I am the proud new owner of a fresh passion for these people and the countless millions around the world just like them. These are my Peeps, and this is my Hood, even though it was a 4 hour plane ride and 4 days of lost luggage later, and because of that, we need to continue to love, continue to give, and continue to live each moment to make it count…Happy Holidays!

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: January 1st, 2008