Thursday, December 15, 2005

Freecycle Frenzy / The Scarf Project

GaucheKnitter, from the Knitty board, posted that she had a perplexing dilemma. She had made so many scarves that she didn't know what to do with all of them - couch covers, window dressings, sew them all together into an afghan, something. So in response, April suggested wearing each of the scarves and giving it away to the first person who complimented her on it. I absolutely love this idea. I have so many single balls of fun fur and eyelash and boa yarn, I have decided to crank out as many scarves as I can and just randomly hand them out to strangers. That's the scarf project. I think it's such fun to give stuff away right there on the spot, it blows their minds! Weird how people are so suspicious of niceness.

I am SO into the spirit of giving for some reason! I'm Freecycling to three different families and my kids are having fun helping me find stuff we can give to other kids. I'm unbelievably proud of my daughter Natalie in particular. One of the families has a daughter who's 10 (Natalie is 8) so Nat and I have been looking for some things to give her so her family can have a Christmas. Natalie wants to spend her own money to buy the little girl a doll. Her idea! Someday when she's older I'll tell her about the two Christmases that we were "adopted" by our church. I'll knit the little girl a doll blanket and pillow, I think. This family also has a son who's 5, and my boys are giving him some of their Rescue Heroes toys. And I can knit the Mom a scarf and maybe a purse.

Another of the families has a little boy who's about to turn 2. Ryan really got into this one, since he's soooooooo much bigger than 2. We've been looking through our closets of forgotten toys and we found some great stuff. And timing was perfect because I had just started gathering the 3T clothes together to give away, even some Thomas the Tank Engine overalls! I found a coat, shoes, books, Barney videos, and a sandbox. My kids and I are very excited about meeting this little boy on Sunday when they come to pick up the stuff. This little guy is gonna hit the friggin jackpot.

Then I'm helping a 3rd family who I don't know as much about, but they're getting some of my now too big plus-size clothes, diapers and videos too. I think I might be able to find more for them too, I'm going to keep looking today.

Anyway, all of the Freecyclers who are collecting for these families are so grateful that I can't even verbalize the joy it's given me. I'm a pack rat, anyone who knows me will attest. And I think that the reason why I save things, even if I'm unable to use it, is for something like this, when I could give it to someone who needs it and bless us both. I am insanely proud of myself!

I think that kids (as I launch into my old lady "Kids These Days" speech) are so into themselves that they miss out on the true joy that comes when you do something nice for someone. How sad that is! I was raised by parents who got it right, and taught my sister and me about compassion and caring and giving selflessly. I'm working really hard on passing this on to my kids.

I remember reading a book called Claude the Dog one Christmas when I was little. Claude is a dog who gets a bunch of nice dog stuff from his family for Christmas, and his friend Bummer comes by and this line I remember verbatim because it used to make me cry every single time - "Along came Bummer. He had no home." Anyway, Claude gives Bummer all his nice things, and then Claude goes home to his family who loves him. I'm so glad I found the book and I'm going to read it to my kids for Christmas.

On the other end of the Christmas Spirit spectrum, I have to share some Holiday Fookery. My friend Patti chose not to participate in her office's Secret Santa exchange, but is still managing some pretty darn good Fookery. She's been taking random items from around the office (such as a used coffee mug, sugar packets, pens, candy, and books found in abandoned desks) and placing them on people's desks with a note saying that they were from the unwitting recipient's Secret Santa. Way to Fook with people and undermine the whole concept. Bravo. The person that she gave the book to was happy with it, and I can't remember the title of the book, but the section on Self-Esteem was dog-eared and the recipient read into it, even though Patti didn't mean anything by it, she didn't even look at the inside of the book. Office merriment! How I miss going to work every day. Actually, what I really miss is going to work with friends like Renee and Patti every day.

*** Update! I just got done emailing a nice lady who was looking for a Christmas dress size 2T for her little girl. I told her I have the PERFECT one and I've been holding onto it in case I or one of my friends ever had a little girl who could wear it, and of course we all had boys. I just found it stashed away yesterday when I was cleaning, and now it's going to have a home. The lady was so happy, she said she was in tears. She'd bought a dress but had to return it to buy groceries. I've totally been there. I think I'm going to find the little girl some toys that Santa could bring her. Oh, I am just En Fuego and it feels fantastic!

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