Tonight I took part in a Shop with a Cop event, wrapping presents for the underprivileged children who got to spend the city's money to make their holidays more special. The children piled in the Wal-Mart Subway, most with parents, awaiting their chance to join one of the city's police officers in holiday shopping.
Now the shopping is up to the kids. They can buy items for themselves, or they can use the $50 to purchase gifts for family members.
The first little girl whose gifts I wrapped had picked out two items for her brother and another for a friend. The second little boy was too young to really know what was going on, so his dad picked out gifts for him. The next boy picked out a present for his grandpa, a woman named Connie and a game for himself. The last little boy picked out a skateboard and model car for himself, and a small pack of Pokemon cards for a friend.
I took the wrapping paper and covered the gifts up. I wonder if these would be the only gifts they would receive on Christmas. Did they already know what they were getting? Did they have to pick out their gifts themselves?
My favorite part about Christmas gift-giving is buying presents for others and wrapping them nice and pretty. However, for my own gifts, my favorite part is the surprise.
Many kids scope out where their presents are hidden by their parents. I however did not like to peek. I didn't want any hints. I didn't want to shake the presents. I love to be surprised when I open a gift on Christmas morning. I haven't really changed since then, although it's to the point where I do some of my own Christmas shopping to make it easier on my parents.
I think surprises are fun. Knowing what is going to happen can build anticipation, but there is nothing quite like the first moment you learn you are getting something or going somewhere. That fresh excitement is something that doesn't last long as anticipation takes over. However, when you are surprised, the fresh excitement seems to stay throughout the entire event.
In life in general though, I haven't really been good at letting surprises happen. I am much more of a planner than I should be, although I have gotten better through the years. Life is always a surprise, always tricking us to expect one thing and get another.
Since I love surprises so much, I guess I should just let days fall where they may. I should just let moments happen. I should just let God surprise me with all he has in store.