On Tuesday, I took only a few things out to the Women's Shelter, for Quilt Time With the Kids. The Quilt has helped me gather with children at the Shelter for over 15 years, now.
I told the kids the animals were looking for homes, if anyone cared to adopt. These were not gifts... gifts are usually new.
We went clockwise around the circle and each child picked. Then we went the opposite direction and the kids picked another. There were extras for latecomers. Then I put out bells and metal stars and gold cord. The kids decorated their pets. Older kids helped the younger ones. Some of the older kids wanted my help... just because it's fun to get help. Then we picked up the Jingle Babies and I blasted "Jingle Bells" from the portable speaker. We sang and jumped and jingled around the room a while.
Like I said, it's sometimes hard for me, to be totally calm.
20+ years Ago
The kids at the Shelter had wanted to know about my kids. As I drove home I thought about 1996, when my kids were young and Beanie Babies were a big deal. Christmas was simple and life was good. My kids and their friends knew the names of every Beanie Baby that was sold...
My kids didn't know much about shelters and abuse. But a few years later, they began volunteering at the Women's Shelter. I remember the conversations, driving home in the car, after spending time at the Shelter. They learned a lot from those visits.
I gave Wrinkles a bell and a place of honor downstairs. We won't have kids in the house for Christmas this year, but we have lots of fun reminders!
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.