The holidays are upon us and that means more gatherings with family and friends, admiring glittering lights, enjoying decadent treats and decorating a beautifully adorned tree – all of which put me in the holiday spirit. Yet there is something else beyond all the hustle and bustle that give meaning to the season – the gift of giving.
It’s become a tradition for my family to gather new and used toys for a local women’s shelter each year. A few days before Christmas we load up the kids and head into downtown Phoenix. On the ride there we talk about why it’s important to give back and we remind our children about how fortunate we are for the simple things in life which are often taken for granted. The first year I thought our kids would have a hard time parting with their toys and understanding why something new wasn’t theirs to keep. But they didn’t. They began to search around their playroom, looking in their toy bins, bookshelves, and closets to find more items. At that moment I remember feeling overcome with emotion, mostly grateful and proud, that my children had understood the true meaning of giving.
To this day we haven’t been inside the shelter and we’ll never have the opportunity to meet the deserving women and children who receive these gifts. It’s knowing that we might have made Christmas just a little brighter for those women struggling to make ends meet or trying to start a new life, and for the children who wouldn’t otherwise get to unwrap a special toy, that’s what I love the most. It’s what makes the season so special.
In this issue you’ll learn about the magic behind Zoppé Italian Circus. Your heart will ache for the surviving families of fallen officers who come together in the midst of tragedy. You’ll be inspired by the words of Steve Zabilski, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul, encouraging families to give back not only this holiday season but all year long.
From all of us at Chandler Lifestyle, we want to wish you and your family a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season.
Meghann Finn Sepulveda