We arrived late this avo at my brother and sister-in-law’s abode on the Coast and, at the invitation of one of our neighbours, decided to venture forth to the community church next door for Christmas carols and free food (for I, dear reader, am a sucker for both.)
It didn’t take me long to realise I’d perhaps made a mistake in taking the kids in barefoot. For what followed was an absolute avalanche of charity – virtually thrust upon us was plate after plate of food, drinks, lolly-pops, candy-canes, fruit-cake, teddy bears (upon last count the kids had clocked up five of the things complete with Santa caps), a gingerbread Christmas tree (I’m talking a huge one that actually stands up and everything) and glo-sticks. No kidding…we walked out of the place half an hour later with such a massive stash it looked like we were knocking the place off. Embarassing in that very profitable kinda way.
But embarrassment aside, I was actually genuinely moved – to get a glimpse of what it must mean for people who are truly in need, to go to a place like this and just have absolute generosity spilled upon them, to see the looks on their kids’ faces when they are spoiled rotten, to feel like you actually have people around who are going out of their way to serve you…I was struck by a couple of thoughts:
1. Wow, it’s so awesome that things like this exist for the homeless. 2. Wow, maybe they think that we’re homeless. 3. Hang on…we ARE homeless! The only thing that made me chuckle more was later when I put out the fruit cake and milk for Santa, only to have Ella voice her terror at the thought of Santa stealing our newly-scored Gingerbread Christmas Tree. “Put it in the cupboard, Mummy, quickly!”
I’ve never managed to feel so chirpy and trashy at the same time.