Helping Others and Making Christmas Memories
by Brittany Gaines
One of the things I love most about the holiday season is getting together with my family and friends to celebrate Christmas. I also love the ability to focus on those who are less fortunate and help provide a little more happiness during the holiday season.
When I was younger, I used to plan an annual Christmas celebration with my friends from school during Christmas vacation. It was called Christmas Night Out, also known as CNO. We had fun decorating my Mom’s big, gold van with garland and pretty holiday ornaments. After we were done, we would put on our Santa hats and prepare to visit the neighborhoods, which were known for having the most extravagant Christmas lights and holiday displays. We loved getting into the Christmas spirit and while driving to those neighborhoods, we would put on our favorite CD and sing “Santa Baby” by Madonna, over and over again. It was so much fun! Those neighborhoods always hosted a canned food drive and we all made sure we brought canned foods for the less fortunate. Sometimes I wish I could be young again and relive those special moments.
Speaking of canned food drives, just a couple of years ago, I organized a holiday canned food drive in my own neighborhood for the Food Bank in my community. I began by contacting all sixty-five of our neighbors on a neighborhood Facebook page and let them know what I planned on doing and the days I would be available to pick up donations. The neighbors who chose to participate contacted me on Facebook and let me know which day their donation would be available for pick up. Quite naturally, I am not able to drive a golf cart, so I made sure I had a friend who could do that for me. Before we made our rounds throughout the neighborhood, we made sure we got into the Christmas spirit by putting on our Santa hats and decorating the golf cart with battery-operated Christmas lights. It makes me feel so good to know that I can do something to create more happiness and help others who are hungry and in need.
The holidays are just around the corner and I am so excited about it! My parents always host Christmas Day dinner and I love visiting with my cousins and other members of my extended family. A lot of people in my family play musical instruments, so we always have a lot of fun. Last year, my dad won the family trophy for singing and acting out the best Christmas song, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Sometimes, other family members are not happy when they don’t win, because we are all so competitive; however, we all love one another and have a great time whenever we get together, especially during the holidays!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Brittany Gaines is a contributor to Bliss Babe Magazine and shares her experience as a young adult who happens to have physical disabilities. She is the former Ms. Shingle Springs Cameron Park and uses her life to encourage others every chance she gets.