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Good King Wenceslas December 22, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Music & Dance, People.

Every year, women in Random Lake, Wisconsin, ensure that every child in town receives at least one gift at Christmas. 

The women hold a holiday potluck, bringing a dish to share for dinner AND a toy or article of clothing for a needy child.  After dinner, they deliver the gifts collected during the toy drive.

One of my favorite yuletide carols, Good King Wenceslas, speaks of the heart-felt warmth we receive when we give the gift of holiday cheer to others.

Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night, tho’ the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel

* * * * *

In his master’s step he trod, where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod, which the saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.

Other ideas to spread good cheer:  visit a nursing home, volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank, drop off clothes at a battered women’s shelter.

For a delightful and FUN video ~ Gratitude and the Dance (Love is the Answer)


1. Jackie L. Robinson - December 22, 2011

Love your open heart and circle of connection. Thank you for sharing. xoxo

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

Thanks, Jackie. It’s great to spread Light, Love, and Cheer at this festive time of Year . . . but even better if we remember to do so for the next 11 months.

2. suzicate - December 22, 2011

All wonderful ways to spread good cheer. My friend lines up projects for her kids to make and collect and her little elves deliver the goods every day starting Dec 1 through Christmas Eve. She has been taking a pic of them each day of their delivery. Funny thing yesterday she told her children the most important thing for them to learn is to give to others. Her six year old son retorted. “No, the most important thing for us to learn is to stay alive.” She corrected him with her version. This time he answered, “If we don’t stay alive, we’ll be dead and if we’re dead we can’t give to others!” Don’t you just love six year old wisdom?

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

What a wise little man! He probably also realizes that eating all his Brussel Sprouts will NOT help starving children in other parts of the world. 😛

One of my most favorite Christmas Eve’s involved packing food for Christmas Dinners in Orlando ~ with my sister and her family. Carols played and “elves” of all shapes, sizes, and colors collaborated to spread Holiday Cheer via full bellies.

3. LittleMissVix - December 22, 2011

That’s lovely that they make sure every child has a gift, the true spirit of Christmas!

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

Remembering our unity will bring about lasting peace.
One planet. One people. One future. _/!\_

4. William D'Andrea - December 22, 2011

At my church we are constantly contributing to neighborhood food pantries, and helping needy people in other ways. We don’t only do these things for strangers. Remember, people who you know personally may also be in great need. The people of my church have been very helpful to me, at times when I’ve been in need.

I also try to be personally helpful myself. One way is that in December, I always pay my rent a few weeks early; so that my landlord and his family will have a good Christmas.

Another thing. You don’t always have to do some great thing to be helpful. Sometimes just a smile and a few encouraging words might be enough.

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

Agreed. Being KIND doesn’t have to cost a thing. 😀

5. Beth Parker - December 22, 2011

Great post. I always find that if I’m in a funk, the best way out of it is to do something nice for someone in need. It warms me from the inside out! Merry Christmas!

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

Good thoughts, Beth. Doing good makes us feel good. 😀

6. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - December 22, 2011

What a great tradition!

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

We did something similar (but on a smaller scale) at our Open House each year ~ we asked guests to bring non-perishable items for the local food bank to the party. We delivered the collected food a few days after the party.

7. barb19 - December 22, 2011

They say there is more pleasure in giving than receiving, and it’s so true . . . when we have been able to help someone or give something to them that they really need, it makes us feel good inside.
What those women in Random Lake, Wisconsin are doing is a wonderful thing; perhaps we should take a leaf out of their book for our own little area.

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

It’s a FUN idea for a party or get-together . . . to have an aim beyond stuffing ourselves silly. 😛

8. Andra Watkins - December 22, 2011

Oh my God. OH MY GOD. How do you know people in Random Lake, Wisconsin? My sister-in-law lives there, and my mother-in-law just rented a house back there to spend part of her time. I will tell them about this program. One of both of them might like to participate.

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

Small world, eh? 😉

Actually I don’t know anyone in Random Lake, Wisconsin. I read about this event via Green Pages (from Green America). BFF’s uncle is from Wisconsin . . . and the name Random Lake appealed to me.

Maybe your in laws can get on the guest list for next year.

9. wordsfallfrommyeyes - December 22, 2011

This is an absolutely, absolutely wonderful thing to do. God bless those who look out for the kids. I love this idea. Good on them.

You know, there’s a motorcycle gang here in Melbourne Australia and they play Santa at Christmas. It’s really weird to see the turnaround, but there’s good in just everybody!

Merry Christmas – and thanks for sharing that wonderful tradition.

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

It is a great idea for a party or holiday get-together . . . focusing on those who could really use some assistance at Christmas.

10. sufilight - December 22, 2011

The daughter of one of my favorite waitresses formed a non profit organization (she is only 16) and collects money to help the poor in our town. Last year she gave Christmas presents to 6 families, plus each one recieved a bag of food with a turkey with all the trimmings. She was profiled in the local paper. 🙂 I too believe in giving back- have been on the recieving end of kindness many times in my life and I know how healing it can be.

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

I love it! Especially that she includes food for the feast!

11. bluebee - December 22, 2011

Volunteering is a really enjoyable way to spend Christmas.

I see on the news this morning that the layby payoff gesture that started in the States has taken off here in Australia as well

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

It’s pretty nice idea . . . and, since millionaires seldom use layaway, you can be pretty sure of helping someone who is not raking in the Big Bucks.

Of course, now that word about the practice is spreading, some unscrupulous folks will set up layaways for luxury items . . . just to see if someone will payoff the balance for them ~ or so says the cynic in me. 😆

12. Crowing Crone Joss - December 22, 2011

a wonderful tradition. There are so many ways we can be of help to others. Just do it! really.

nrhatch - December 22, 2011

One of my favorite things to do is make people who look “stressed” by the holidays LAUGH.

Today, at the grocery store, a harried shopper piled groceries a mile high on the conveyor belt ~ clearly, she was going to be busy baking and cooking for for the immediate future. With a sigh, she reached for a magazine to add to the pile.

I piped up, “You know you’re not going to have time to read it.”

She glanced up, surprised, then grinned and said, “It’ll be my AFTER Christmas treat.”

“Of course, the day AFTER Christmas when we all say, Aah . . . that’s better.

She and the cashiers were still laughing when I left. 😀

Cindy - December 23, 2011

I’m so in agreement 😉

nrhatch - December 23, 2011

We’ve scaled back considerably with the gift giving, frenzied shopping, and holiday baking.

Next year, I may do even LESS. 😉

13. jannatwrites - December 23, 2011

I’m glad they are looking after the children. Making sure every child has a gift can’t be easy 🙂

A few weeks ago, the Scouts packaged food for Feed My Starving Children, last weekend, they sang Christmas carols at 2 retirement homes, and a couple days ago, my kids turned in the Christmas gifts they bought with the ‘charity’ portion of their allowance for 5 children through our city’s Christmas Angel program.

I wish we had time to do more ’cause we’re having so much fun!

nrhatch - December 23, 2011

That’s wonderful, Janna. I’ve done each of those things (or something similar) a time or two . . . but never all at once. Your boys are turning into Christmas Angels. 🙂

14. Tilly Bud - December 23, 2011

What good women.

Here in Stockport, we have a homeless charity called Wellspring and our church collects enough presents for everyone, which are handed out when they come for their Christmas Dinner. I think other churches do it too. Our local paper collects presents for deprived children. People are mostly generous, if given the opportunity.

nrhatch - December 23, 2011

That’s wonderful, Tilly. A local church (when we lived in New Jersey) collected coats, hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves every winter for families in need and the homeless.

We gain when we give. 😀

15. creatingreciprocity - December 23, 2011

Hi Nancy I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award – you may or may not decide to accept and I’m sure you’ve been nominated before but nevertheless it is an opportunity for me to advertise your blog and encourage others to read it – http://creatingreciprocity.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/recommended-reading/
Enjoy the holidays!

nrhatch - December 23, 2011

Thanks, Patricia! Isn’t it amazing how a mere 26 letters can be combined in so many interesting ways? Here are my 7 things:


16. nuvofelt - December 23, 2011

Lovely post. Tomorrow is our day for visiting a nursing home for the elderly. We are going as a family – even the tinies. It will be good.

nrhatch - December 23, 2011

That sounds wonderful, nuvo. Have a FUN day filled with laughter and light!

I’ve caroled at nursing homes a time or two . . . the residents are also so enthused by the music. I’ve since learned that Alzheimer’s patients who can’t walk or talk will cometimes respond to music by dancing and singing. That’s the miracle of music!

17. Team Oyeniyi - December 27, 2011

What a wonderful concept and activity!

nrhatch - December 27, 2011

Yes . . . cool concept to incorporate benevolence into festivities and frivolity. 😉

18. eof737 - December 29, 2011

Now that is the true spirit of Christmas! 🙂

nrhatch - December 29, 2011

The true spirit of giving.

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