Living Columns & Blogs

Holidays remind us to count our blessings

It was impossible to miss the striking contrast. One shopper looked at a pair of sleek leather boots and told her friend, “That’s not bad, these are 300.” A woman pushing a stroller walked by and looked at the shopper as if she was from another planet. Three hundred dollars meant something entirely different to her.

As I’ve read the Share the Season stories, I’m struck by how sometimes a few hundred dollars is a new pair of boots for one person, but to another it means keeping the heat on in the house or getting the electricity turned back on. Maybe it’s the amount you need to get your car repaired so you can take kids to school or get to work.

Regardless of circumstances, an amount can sound like a fortune to one person and no big deal to another.

Which reminds me that any amount helps. Share the Season, a 15-year-old program, helps those in need this time of year. It’s a one-time assistance for people who do not qualify for any other agency. All, and I mean every cent, of your donation will go to Share the Season because the Wichita Community Foundation donates their administrative services. Each application is screened thanks to a task force at the Salvation Army, and you can read about the people being helped thanks to The Wichita Eagle.

Those stories are a good reminder about how blessed most of us are, and it’s good to help people any time of year but especially during the holidays. Go to or look for the stories in The Wichita Eagle with the Santa hat logo for details.

Writing this reminds me that I need to make my donation today.

Christmas wishes

I have the pleasure of having lunch with eight fifth grade girls at Jefferson Elementary every Tuesday. The program is called “Girl Power” through Communities in Schools. We chat about our highs and lows of the week while they eat lunch. On some days, I pass out their binder notebooks that we add to, and they get to keep at the end of the year. I ask a question, and they write the answer.

The question I posed a couple weeks ago: “What is your wish for the holidays?” I made sure I didn’t ask, “What do you want for Christmas?” because I knew I’d end up with a gift list. Of course, some still took it that way. But here are some Christmas wishes from 10 year-old girls:

“Having lots of friends”

“I wish that everyone could have presents for Christmas.”

“To get together with my entire family.”

We talked about how a wish doesn’t have to be a thing such as a phone or a new video game. I explained the older you get the more important the “unthings” will be.

Wishing for health and happiness for loved ones, a safe environment for those who don’t have one, time to relax and reflect on wonderful holidays in the past were some of my examples. The look on one girl’s face assured me she was still more interested in getting an iPhone.

That lead us to how it’s not necessarily a bad thing to wish for something that seems totally out of reach. And that took us to this week when our guest was Wynn Hukle who talked about the importance of setting goals. The girls wrote down their goals so we can check our progress occasionally.

Who knows what all we’ll cover by the end of the school year. I don’t know about them, but I’m learning a lot.

Reach Bonnie Bing at