Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Gift wrapped in red tape
Christmas is such a magical time when you're a child – the lights, the decorations, the sparkle, the music, the presents, the anticipation. It's wonderful to indulge in all that but it can be equally wonderful to share the magic, especially with those who may not be as fortunate as you are.
Last Christmas, I took the girls to a local high-care aged care home, where most of the residents had dementia. We took some little gifts and chatted to a few people over a cup of tea. It was a really lovely experience. The residents loved seeing the girls skip, dance, sing and be little kids – smiling and laughing at their liveliness. The girls love chatting to new people. I'm lucky that the girls are very outgoing and gregarious, if they were shy I probably wouldn't push them to do something like that.
I was really looking forward to doing something similar this year, thinking the girls would be even more aware of the joy they were bringing. Over the past month, I've contacted many aged care homes and have received only a couple of responses, saying that while they would love to have us visit they required us to go through so much red tape that it just wouldn't be possible.
It just seems sad that the world has become a place so filled with bureaucracy that it makes it impossible to reach out to one another. Even for such a simple act as sharing a cup of tea. I haven't given up and will keep contacting facilities. We may even just drop off some small gifts if we can't do anything else. While that would be nice, the gifts of time, touch and talk just seem so much more precious to me.