Canadians, like the Japanese, take their shoes off at the door before entering the house. I’m not sure why the Japanese do it, but Canadians do it because half the year is snowy, slushy, or wet and we don’t like tracking dirt on to the floors.
When I was at a school Christmas concert last week, all the children who arrived did as they had always done; they took their boots off at the door. There were piles of them! The parents, not having their indoor shoes with them, just kept their boots on. Well, most people did. I saw one or two people in their socks.
As I was watching my ten-year-old grandson with his friend taking off their boots, I noticed that the friend wasn’t wearing socks, and I was taken aback. It was -15 Celsius outside; that’s 5 Fahrenheit! Pretty darned cold. My son’s partner noticed me doing a double-take and nodded. She quietly said “Yes. Some kids don’t have everything they need,” or words to that effect.
A couple of weeks ago the Calgary Hitmen hockey team did their annual teddy bear toss for charity, and 28,815 stuffed toys were thrown on to the ice. As much fun as that is, and as generous as the donors are, I have to wonder if there are that many children in the area who really need a teddy bear. Well, nobody really needs a teddy bear, I suppose, and I realize that they are comforting, but even so it seems a few too many to me. Especially when there are children without socks.
Next year, if I am tempted to donate soft toys to charity I will give socks and underwear instead of, or maybe as well as, a teddy bear. Children probably don’t put socks and underwear on their wish lists, but their parents might. A local women’s shelter has some other ideas for practical gifts, and a few, like bus tickets and phone cards, are so obvious they surprised me. For homeless or disadvantaged children, I will also consider some of the things on this list from Hubpages, such as backpacks and pajamas.
Maybe I’ll go to a Calgary Hitmen game and throw socks and knickers on to the ice. You never know, it could start a trend! We could call it the Hitmen Undie Chucker. … Just a thought.
Image source: Craftsy