Toys for Tots

I’ve always loved Christmas. And my birthday. Mostly just winters in general because all of the best holidays fall within it. I think it boils down to the fact that I love to celebrate. Whether it is Easter or my best friend’s birthday – I’m first to arrive and the last to leave.

Which is why it was such a shock for me to learn that Easter actually falls on a Sunday. The Bunny always came on Monday evening – why on earth would he come so late? Same with Valentine’s Day. We always celebrated on the 15th. Totally normal, right?


My mother created this lovely illusion that holidays’ fell after they actually did. What sounds terrible from the eye of an onlooker, was really joy in the eye of a child. Anything on a discount meant I got that much more. 20% off? 20% more! 70% clearance candy? Yes, I will have 70% more please.

So, when “santa” came a couple days after Christmas, I wasn’t even taken aback. I got a few great gifts – fake barbie dolls and a few coloring books. But… why was Christmas coming for a second time? Hadn’t Santa already left the loot?

Somehow I knew that it was really Toys for Tots bringing me my presents. But, Toys for Tots didn’t mean anything to me. Sure, we were on welfare and sure, I was in a single parent household… but… does that warrant free Christmas gifts?

To this day I struggle with it. I feel so less deserving than kids that truly grow up in rough times… Yet, I didn’t grow up in a basket of roses. Was Toys for Tots created for children like me? Am I really the target audience?

One thought on “Toys for Tots

  1. Well its a good thing you took violin lessons. FYI we were on welfare for 2 years. You were in Headstart when you were 3 and 4 and one year they took you shopping to buy your single parent a gift. you got me a set of blue glasses. I think then they put you on a list for toys. You must have forgotton that by ’92 we drove our brand new toyota shopping and BOUGHT gifts from a list of WELFARE KIDS on the giving tree and gave them WAY more than they asked for. Also you must have forgotton that Santa gave you so many gifts that you had to have your own tree. You poor thing. what a horrible live wit Mommy Dearest!!!!!! AARRGGGGHHHH

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