It's tiring, this parenting of difficult child's and taking care of families, holding down a full time job, coming home & rushing through dinner, running to the store, feeding the dogs, walking the dogs, chasing down pcs and difficult children....etc, etc, etc. Going back to when my girls were young and I was newly separated, recently moved to a place where I knew no one and had no friends (and niether did the girls)...we went to Ames one snowy day to pick up some inexpensive gifts for my sister's family (I had hardly no money for gifts at all) and we came across a 'Wishing Tree' filled with little red & green cards that had been filled out by local children whose families couldn't provide for them. The cards had things like "PJ's-Size 4T", "slippers - Size 5", "Christmas Dinner for my family", and "something for my mom" on them, in little kid hand writing. My girls begged me to buy something, so we chose a card and bought that child a gift. I had to explain that in doing so, we'd all have to give up one gift. My girls were so freakin happy and I was too, I almost cried. That was the best. We've continued the tradition of giving to those in need each year and in doing so we give up something for ourselves. I'm not tooting my own horn, I'm just sharing how much it truly feels like a gift to ourselves when we give to others and easy child and difficult child still love it! In the midst of all the holiday preparations, whether that holiday is Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, whatever....it's hard to find something more to give of yourself or do for others. "They" say that giving brings us joy, fills us with love, gives us everlasting peace in knowing that we've touched another's life, lifted them up, made a difference. There are so many people in need and although at times we think we're the only ones, there are those who are in an even worse place, so my holiday wish this year is that each and every one of us reaches out and gives a little bit. It's amazing the gifts you receive in kind. Simply amazing. Do any of you do something special for others at holiday time? If so, what? I would love to hear about it!