It's Time for Operation SantaNovember 28, 2014

Christmas in Oz is like no other. No snow, no sleigh, no Santa. Wait, there's a Santa Claus. Expect him to don warm clothes. It's summer in these parts, so expect Christmas Eve to be spent outdoors. And since we're still in this topic, how about barbeque at night time. It seems challenging, but anything is possible if you want it. UnitingCare also feels the same thing when it comes to their Operation Santa campaign.

The Yuletide is that time of the year to be happy. But not everyone is fortunate. There are many reasons, which points to lack of resources. It's a personal matter, and if we have children in the household, we try our best to tell the bad news in a gentle way. They'll be disheartened, but UnitingCare don't want it to end that way. Operation Santa is about making sure the children will have a smile on their faces during Christmas Day. This non-government organisation is looking at children with disability. But during the past years, a number of individuals come to them for help. They are in financial distress, and the last thing they want to happen is a blue Christmas with the kids. It's not the case anymore. (The group tries to find a way whenever possible.)

You're not obliged to join the group, but you can make someone else's Christmas memorable by preparing a box of goodies. Ask anyone if they know other groups who are helping disabled kids. They may also know of someone who have a hard time making ends meet. As for the gifts, here are some suggestions:

Children's books. We don't want to part our books on gumnut babies. We also cherish our paperback copies of Roald Dahl's books. We don't want to let go of those hardbound copies of fairy tales too. Unless these books have sentimental value, then why not give it to the kids who might not read it. It's the best Christmas present, being introduced to characters which will entertain them for years. This is also the right time to let them know about the wonders of reading. How nice if this turns into a lifetime habit.

Toys. Chances are kids won't fancy children's books unless you read it to them. Nothing beats toys, and if you're that kind of person who don't have lots of time (to prepare a gift), then you might as well fill the box with these items. But it will be better to join them while they're playing with it.

Chocolate, cookies, and other sweet goodies. All you need is a hungry child (or the way to a child's heart is through his/her stomach). You won't see a grumpy face at the end of the day.

Sports equipment. It's the perfect time for a game of backyard cricket. You can even head to the beach and frolic all day long. What a way to spend the time together, but don't forget those items to play with.

Your presence and time. It means a lot if you're there.

Do you have other ideas? We can't wait to hear it.

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