A Very Special Gift

December 7th, 2006


This post isn’t about food or anything related. It’s the first post I’ve written that hasn’t been and I hope you’ll understand when you read it why, just this once, I wanted to write about something else and share this with you.

I’ve had a pretty bad week. Work has been challenging, with lots of things going wrong. I’ve not been in the best of moods and I’ve really not felt very Christmassy. It’s been wet and windy and a mini tornado hit the North of London today. All quite depressing really.

But then something magical happened. In the middle of the daily drudge I walked to the kitchen area of my office and saw lots of little handmade gift tags hanging up on a line of string. Each one had quite clearly been very carefully made with glitter and paint by little hands. As I turned each over one by one I saw a child’s name and age along with a wish for a little toy.

The cards came to our office from The Kids Company, a London base charity which helps to re-parent abandoned and abused children, providing them with care and hence better opportunities in life. On Christmas day The Kids Company will have around 500 children on it’s premises who are looking for a safe place to stay. To make their stay more pleasant some people from our offices are organising some Christmas presents for them. The children were asked to write a little card to be hung up on a ‘wishing line’ in our offices. Employees may pick a card and buy a gift.

These little gift cards made by children very much in need asking for the smallest of gifts – a painting set, a skipping rope, an umbrella – tugged on my heart strings. I felt very emotional reading them and running my fingers over the little pictures. I picked two cards that particularly touched me – 6 year old Gemma who would like a skipping rope and little Holly, 11, who has asked for a copy of ‘The Hobbit’ which I read for the first time only a few years ago and loved. I hope she loves it as much. I’m looking forward to making one wish come true for these little girls, no matter how small.

Rob has asked that I pick up two cards for him to buy for and a colleague has taken two home from children similar ages to his own so that they can buy gifts. This really brings home the true meaning of Christmas.

On reflection, my week hasn’t been so bad after all.

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