This last Christmas, I was very disenchanted with the extreme commercialism that has enveloped the holiday season. Between that and my focus on de-cluttering my house, I had no desire to receive more “stuff”! I wanted to get back to what was most important, spending time with family and helping those less fortunate then us. I asked my family if for a change we could forgo on lots of presents for each other but instead put together a couple of backpacks with warm socks, hats, gloves etc for homeless men we see downtown. I was thrilled by how much they each got into support my desire. Some family members picked up non-perishable food, water bottles and juice. Others added toiletries and hand warmers. It was so nice to have these full backpacks under the tree. After Christmas I loaded the backpacks into my car and looked for opportunities to share what we had. But this year in Ontario, the weather was so mild, we only had a handful of cold days and whenever I drove around, running errands, taking my son to school or shopping I didn’t see anyone who I could give the backpacks to. Then February arrived and along with it the cold cold weather. The radio stations announced Cold Weather Warnings! Then finally the temperature dropped and the snow fell. I began to pray that God would put me on the path of someone, anyone who needed the gifts I had had been hauling around for weeks. It was minus 13 degrees Celsius, I was driving my son to school and walking along the road was a man pushing a cart. Over his head were two sweaters draped there to cover his ears. He looked so cold. I pulled over, pulled out a backpack and ran over to him. On his hands were a pair of thin stretch gloves, ones you get at the dollar store that I know from experience don’t keep you warm at all, not in a real Canadian winter. I asked him if he would like a pair of warm gloves, that I had thermal gloves and hat and socks and hand warmers for him. He was so thankful and it felt wonderful to know that what we had for him would really help. He pulled the sweaters off his head and put the warm hat on right away, followed by the gloves. My eyes welled up as I drove away. As we pulled into the parking lot of my son’s school, there was a young man leaving the church breakfast program next door. We was climbing onto a bike with what looked like all his worldly possessions packed into 2 bags strapped to his back. He was putting a helmet on but without a touque or gloves on. His hands looked freezing. I quickly ran over to him with a backpack in hand. I told him about the gloves and hat and we fumbled together to get the bag open to pull out the gloves and hat right away, I explained about the hand warmers, that they’ll last for 8 hours, then I attached my backpack to the others on his back. He thanked me repeatedly. He was so grateful and my eyes were filled tears yet again. I was so grateful to been able to help him. To me this is what Christmas should feel like. It was Christmas in February for both these men and me this year.