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A Christmas Story

The entire essence of this blog is to share my passion for eating, loving and volunteering with all of you. I want everyone to know that living by this philosophy can take you on an incredible adventure, and can begin with bread crumbs left on screens full of so much other junk. And often times we re-learn that in order for the community to embrace us back, we must first embrace the community ourselves. And doesn’t it feel so wonderful and fuzzy when we know that we are making an impact, however small?

It wasn’t feeling particularly like the holiday season, other than the repetitive holiday music that was being played everywhere. It wasn’t even a cold winter.

Every year, my friend Jen organizes a Spreading Holiday Cheer event, such as delivering needed items to the homeless shelter on Christmas day. This year, she provided information about the opportunity to adopt a family through Mosaic Family Services in Dallas. I could make someone’s Christmas really special! I could let someone who’s been thrown lemons know that they are loved and encouraged. Maybe with a little sugar, some woman would gain just a little more strength to move on, and my gifts would remind her that life can actually be really sweet. And amidst a somewhat difficult couple of months in my life, the two families I adopted actually became a really sweet reminder for me.

I don’t know that my husband, Angel, quite understood my feelings about the mission until I showed him the seventh set of wood train tracks I liked on Amazon. Like any supportive partner would do, he went along with it, which made it even more fun. During a layover in Quebec City, we went on a shopping date in the underground mall on a rainy day and found some fuzzy socks and a scarf for one of our ladies. Another gift inspired a collaboration when I requested help from my friend Karin. My adopted mother’s dream was a makeup set, but I knew that we could do better. Karin spoke with her manager and sent me a Neutrogena face care set, name brand makeup products and a beautiful makeup bag, among other things. This was getting better and better, and my holiday season became sweeter and sweeter.

A Christmas Story_mosaicoffice

I spent an evening wrapping gifts for our Mosaic families while Charlie Brown Christmas played and then stacked them decoratively alongside one wall in our home. It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

When Le offered me to join a team in buying gifts with grant money, I was excited to go shopping for families all over again, and this time, without spending any money! We went shopping! I was proud of my organized gift and price lists I recorded for each child, and I successfully managed to spend just under budget for each child. Plus, I learned how to push a bike in a cart, which I wasn’t too sure I would be able to do.

Afterward, I was invited to visit the shelter, where I marveled at the structure and support the organization was providing, built by the good hearts in people. And guess who we ran into? The woman whose son I had found the very best train track set ever, and whose dreams would come true when she emptied her large bag of Karin’s generous makeup delivery! I gave her a hug and told her that I enjoyed providing her gifts. Merry Christmas. There may have been someone cutting onions nearby as I stood there in front of the person I would be directly impacting this Christmas.

Finally, like helpers in Santa’s Love Workshop, Meredith and I sorted the gifts, wrapped them up and bagged them up! My mission was complete and, despite the hot weather on Christmas day, it truly began to feel like Christmas.

Tara received her degree in French and Communications before jetting off to serve Cameroon for 2 years with the Peace Corps. She has forever since been inspired to serve in humanitarian projects around the world. She’s a writer, tour guide, business owner, property manager, wifey, dog mom, and traveler. Tara lives in Dallas, Texas, where she’s happily married to the tech genius who keeps her website pretty.

About Tara

Tara received her degree in French and Communications before jetting off to serve Cameroon for 2 years with the Peace Corps. She has forever since been inspired to serve in humanitarian projects around the world. She's a writer, tour guide, business owner, property manager, wifey, dog mom, and traveler. Tara lives in Dallas, Texas, where she's happily married to the tech genius who keeps her website pretty.