When conducting a meeting of people who are unacquainted with one another, a common method of putting them at ease is to pose a general question and ask everyone to provide an answer. During a recent meeting with friends from a nearby community organization, this form of “ice breaking” approach was used to help make everyone comfortable.
Tamassee DAR School Interim CEO Jon Holland who was in attendance, opened the gathering, and then posed a question to be answered by all those in attendance as we went around the room with introductions. The question was very simply, “Tell us about a favorite Christmas gift that you have received”.
You could see the wheels turning as each participant, combed through their memories of Christmas pasts, sorting through the presents they have received throughout their lives, putting them into the category of “the best” before struggling to further whittle their selections down to the “absolute best” and finally sharing it with the group. Some of the gifts recalled included a lovable, cuddly puppy which stemmed a lifelong love of dogs, toy race cars, the every-popular General Lee that survived many crashes into walls, trees, and other toy vehicles that cross its path, and a giant sized coloring book of birds which was sadly lost in a relocation move.
Perhaps it is the number of Christmas seasons that I have celebrated during my life that hampered my ability to recall my BEST gift. All I could remember were the many individuals, churches, businesses, industries, civic organizations, and more who have made wishes come true for the youth of Tamassee. I thought about the care with which each child completed their wish lists. Some of them were skeptical that wishes do come true, and maybe a few found it difficult to share something about themselves as personal as a wish. I thought about the gift givers who open their hearts and their pocketbooks to the students of Tamassee and marveled at their willingness to bring joy to children they may have never met. I thought about the financial strain the holidays already put on families and marveled at how so many were willing to stretch that burden to ensure the children of Tamassee were not forgotten. What a blessing.
After contemplating the question regarding my best Christmas gift ever, the answer became very clear. My best gift ever, which is one shared by the entire staff of Tamassee DAR School, is the realization that thanks to your kindness and compassion this holiday season, when the children wake up in their cottages on Christmas morning and rush to the Christmas trees, they will be filled with joy, excitement, and amazement to know that they are remembered and that wishes do come true.
Thank you for your love and support of these precious children during the holidays and every day throughout the year. Merry Christmas to everyone from the students and staff of Tamassee DAR School.