Children are no less susceptible than adults to this human trait, especially at Christmas when every commercial is directed towards their twinkly eyes. Star Wars figures, Disney dolls, board games, video games, scooters, hand held game consoles - you name it - there is a child dreaming of it, hungering for it to appear under their tree.
But what about when the word hungering appears in its literal definition?
It manifested today in an email asking for our help. And it broke my heart.
It flowed as do most of the Yes, Virginia emails I receive - tentative, then embarrassed, then hopeful. Asking for help is never easy, even when you know you need it. I understand that by the time I receive one of these emails the parent has struggled with everything from desperation to shame in trying to put the words together. I want you to know - if you reach out, the only thing I am feeling is blessed that you did, and humbled that this community is here to help.
In every year that we have done Yes, Virginia, there are always requests for food. It is heartbreaking, and buying gift cards to grocery stores is done many times a season.
Today's email asked for that kind of assistance and included this line, "none of my kids have asked for toys because they know its just not possible. All they asked for is if each of them could have their own box of cereal."
Their own box of cereal.
I have a dear friend who tells a similar story from her own childhood - when getting a box of Cookie Crisp for Christmas was this magical thing. I have heard her share it often, and have never doubted it for a moment, but today when the real-time experience of it showed up in my inbox, it completely gelled for me.
Yes, Virginia, there is a DGMS - and these children WILL get their boxes of cereal, and Santa WILL make the other magic they think is not theirs to share in.
Please contribute if you can. And tonight, when you look into your own pantry or refrigerator, be mindful of how much you have. Because even if it is not a lot, it is still probably more than someone else.