All I Want for Christmas is a New TV

In an effort to give back to the community, we volunteered to sponsor a local family in need. I thought that bringing gifts to a family that is less fortunate than we are might show the kids that Christmas is about more than greed.

So I called the father of the family we were assigned, and asked him what his three pre-teen children like. He replied that they need TV sets in their rooms. He paused, then said, “And Game Boys.”

I felt a bit cheap, because I wasn’t planning to spend anywhere near the cost of a TV set on our own kids. I thought at first that this was an unusual request, but I’m starting to think that’s it’s the norm.

Another mother just emailed around the local parents’ group to ask if anyone had a TV they no longer needed, because she would like to pass it along to a family she is sponsoring for Christmas. It seemed they too had requested it.

The good news is that if families in need are just a few TV sets short of a complete Christmas experience, then the economic downturn has not been as ruthless as I had feared.

Maybe there are needier families out there than the ones we have ended up sponsoring. And perhaps these families are just more forthright than most. Why not ask for a TV when someone asks you what you’d like for Christmas? I hope that this means that they’re all set with groceries and other necessities for the holiday period.

In the end, we presented our family with some gift cards from Publix and Target. They seemed pleased with that. And maybe now we can start saving up to buy ourselves another TV. We only have one, and I’m starting to realize that in this town, this puts us in the needy family bracket.

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