A Shoebox Full of Holiday Surprises

I saw a post the other day about an international program that sends shoeboxes of gifts to little children across the globe.lily2

Operation Christmas Child, started by Samaritan’s Purse, “a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.”

The person who posted the information on Facebook is a good friend of mine through a little more research, found out the collection would take place next week, Nov. 14-21.

So, wanting to teach my grandchildren a lesson about helping others, I picked them up and we set out to buy a few toys for a little girl, who lived on the other side of the world.

I expected a barrage of questions such as, “Why do we have to buy presents for someone we don’t know?” or “Why can’t I have a present?”

Instead they asked questions about where it might go and who might receive it, and concentrated on picking out gifts that a little girl might like. We couldn’t send chocolate, or perfume, or nail polish (all the things Lily wanted), but she decided on a Barbie doll, a puzzle, some gum, colored pencils, and a notebook.

“She might like to have this, too,” she told me, holding up a little white bear.

“Do you really think she’d like something like that?” I asked, teasing her.

She laughed and handed me the little bear. “Yes, I think it’s something she could sleep with, so she doesn’t have bad dreams.”

We added a few notecards to the box, as well as Lily’s name and address, in case the little girl wanted to write her.

It will be interesting to see where the shoebox ends up. I just hope it brings as much joy to the little girl who receives it, as it did to the little girl who put it together.




Have a Horrific Halloween

I grew up watching B-rated horror flicks like Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Werewolf, on Creature Feature,  which was shown Friday nights at 10:30. (Back then, we planned our entire weekends around TV, because, of course, we didn’t have cable or video games to occupy our time.)

These black and white films were played brilliantly by a host of talented men, including Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and Boris Karloff. And they scared the you-know-what out of me.

I was about 10 when Alfred Hitchock’s thrillers Psycho and The Birds came out on TV. I begged my dad to let me watch, but he made sure my eyes were hidden at the scary parts. But being the rebel I am, I peeked once or twice, and had nightmares for a month.

As I grew older, it was Stephen King’s The Shining, Pet SemataryCarrie, Christine, and the Silver Bullet that made my heart race and pump adrenaline through my veins.

My appetite for horror films grew, and soon I was looking for new ways to get my thrills; Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street, John Carpenter’s Halloween, and the Friday the 13th series were just a few.

These days, I still love reading Stephen King novels, but as far as horror flicks go, I prefer a good mystery over blood, guts, and gore any day.

Here are a few clips from my favorite horror films throughout the years:

“IT” 1990 

“Poltergeist” 1982

“The Shining” 1980

“Halloween” 1978

“Child’s Play” 1988

“Salem’s Lot” 1979

And just for fun … “Dracula” 1931