Christmas basket recipient: ‘My New Year looks brighter! Thank you so much.’

The Editor: 

As we wrapped up our business for the 2017 North Dundas Christmas Fund, one of our members brought forward a letter received from a recipient of a Christmas basket. The letter was signed by a grateful lady who wished to express the effect on her life made by the donations from our community. We would like to pass these warm sentiments on to our generous community … The letter follows:

To all those generous and thoughtful volunteers, donors and helpers at the North Dundas Christmas Fund locations just before Christmas, thank you is simply ‘not enough’. For the spirit you have passed along, it will last forever. 

My Christmas 2017: As a senior living alone on a very tight pension, ‘cutting corners’ wherever I can has allowed me to maintain my own little country home. Keeping the thermostat at 14 or 15 degrees, turning off the hot water tank during the week, banning all those power-hungry kitchen gadgets (toasters, coffee pots, blenders, etc.) has kept my hydro bill within my pension cheque. Restrictions on social activities and food and clothing purchases allows me to cope — albeit very boring and by times, depressing.

Nearing this Christmas, a very thoughtful neighbour phoned to tell me she had put my name in for a Christmas basket from the North Dundas Christmas Fund. Surprised — but curious — I accepted.

A few days later I went to the distribution centre – expecting perhaps, a fruitcake and a box of chocolates. Inside was busy with many people waiting for their basket. My turn came: “Come pick out some buns and sweets.” Well, okay. Back to the front desk where three boxes of groceries sat. “These are  yours,” and “Joe, go get the frozen stuff.” Two more bags, a turkey, ice cream, milk, eggs! I was floored. It was like getting the wind knocked out of you – in a nice way! Speechless, I showed the helpers to my truck and drove home.

Into the kitchen, I brought it all and set it on the table. It was just like being a kid and seeing Santa had come! What did he bring? Vegetables, bread, cereal, soup, butter and so much more. There were personal items and a small gift for me as well. I could hardly contain myself. I can stretch this stuff for a month or more!

Christmas Day I invited a neighbour lady (also alone) over for the ‘Grandest Feast’. Turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, gravy – and she made mincemeat pie and ice cream for dessert. We reminisced. Remember that windy cold Christmas when a big branch fell on the outhouse and there was such a scramble to set up ‘new accommodations’ before company arrived for dinner? We laughed away the day. All was well. The turkey leftovers were saved for sandwiches and turkey a-la-king, with the bones bubbling away for a big pot of turkey stew. Everything was cleaned and put away and quiet once more.

A light snow fell into the evening. I later dished myself out a bowl of hot turkey stew, and a big one for my faithful, old, arthritic buddy who sat wagging his tail patiently. As we shared what we both knew would be our last Christmas meal together, I could not help but think ‘What a wonderful day!’

So to all those wonderful and thoughtful people who donate their time (at such a busy time of year); to all those who so selflessly and generously give and donate to complete strangers; to all those who in any way, help to not only brighten the spirit of others, but give a renewed sense of worth; you have made the world a much kinder place to be in. My New Year looks brighter! Thank you so much. It really is a wonderful world!

Name Withheld by Request

Nancy Torrance
Secretary
North Dundas Christmas Fund