Sunday, December 4, 2016
Joyful Bare Elves
Who needs thermal long underwear with all that chest-fur?
For the past three years, Aaron (my husband) and I, along with my first cousin and his boyfriend, have hosted a holiday-themed event the first Sunday in December. It is a bare afternoon social for other same gender loving men and the admission qualifications are no clothing allowed (once inside our condo-apartment) and a new toy (unwrapped) for a child of either gender. The collected toy items are in turn donated to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots program. This program targets children of families who are otherwise unable to provide toys for their kids.
We look at this as our way of helping others in need and as a way of giving something back into our communities. This time of the year, too often we are so focused on our own "giving and receiving" with family and friends that frequently those in desperate need are overlooked if not completely forgotten.
My cousin, Michael, and his boyfriend, began this custom six years ago. At that time, they were living in the Tidewater region of Virginia. Since then, they have both relocated to the Northern Virginia-Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Once they moved, Aaron and I joined with them in hosting this charitable event. We alternate having this bare holiday social either at their apartment or in our condominium.
This year, Cuz (that's how I refer to Michael) and his partner, Ropati, are being the hosts. They both are really into the "holiday thing" and have decorated their entire apartment as if this was the last winter season that mankind will ever see! Compared to them, Aaron and I are both "Ebenezar Scrooges" as our decorations, what few we have, are minimal and very simple. Our philosophy towards decorating is to keep it basic as whatever is put out has to eventually be put away.
Last year, this holiday bare celebration was attended by eight other couples and we collected a total of 21 new toys for disadvantaged children. All four of us are hoping to surpass that benchmark this year. It looks as though we're going to meet our expectations as we have 11 couples confirmed plus two others who are a "maybe."
Even if we don't set a record for the number of toys collected this year, I believe the effort was successful. Our goal is to provide a social nude opportunity and that we have accomplished. We want to help needy children and we're going to do that, even if we receive the toys just from the four of us as hosts. We offered a chance and the means. We all know that we tried.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Bare With Pride