Creating the Holiday Spirit in Vienna

It’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving is as done as the turkey is, December is upon us, and it’s time to celebrate and take stock of the year.

There are holiday activities to choose from, and I hope to post more of them as I hear of them. For now, I know that the Church Street Holiday Stroll is Monday, November 29 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. Activities tend to happen near the Freeman House but Church Street is closed between Lawyers Road and Mill Street.  I haven’t been yet, but it seems to be a buffet of events: Santa, music, food and toy drive, bonfire for roasting marshmallows, petting zoo.

I’ve also been pilfering the Trader Joe’s in Fairfax and Falls Church for their holiday treats. I keep buying them under the guise of “holiday presents for yet unnamed parties.” I will not eat all of the treats, but they are just too good to pass up: caramels covered in dark chocolate and Dead Sea salt, dark chocolate covered shortbread cookies, a selection of chocolate from around the world. Help!

But besides the food and festivities, I do find myself thinking in this season about how fortunate I am. My daughter is just the most adorable creature I’ve ever seen – happy and healthy as can be. She wants for nothing.

Yet I am discontent in that I feel that I’m not giving back to the universe the good fortune I’m enjoying. I think about other children who don’t have even one percent of the toys, clothes, food and most importantly, love, that we give Bean. I don’t want to buy her more stuff when there are so many that go without; yet, I want to give her everything she (and realistically, I), could want.

I donate money here and there to charities, but none that I’m closely connected with. I’ve wanted to volunteer at the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax, but have yet to make that happen. I did join up with Adopt a Hero and have communicated with and sent care package goodies to a young Marine (22 years old) stationed in Afghanistan. He seems so appreciative for the emails. But I haven’t heard from him in a while and I’m concerned for his safety. It just doesn’t seem to be enough in our world where there is so much need, and I have an abundance of blessings.

I hope during this season that I can channel my thankfulness into action in my community and the world. I think there’s plenty of the giving spirit to go around, so I better get giving!

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