Christmas Song and Bed Drive for 3rd World Kids

Gorgeous Gentle Reader:

Have I told you how I once walked the Peloponnese to raise
money for a Canadian charity called Sleeping Children Around
the World? I was looking for a feat of daring and endurance to take
on before a big change I was about to undertake… called marriage.

That was in August 1993.

I had been inspired by Murray Dryden. It just so happens he is the
father of two NHL goalies, the more famous of which is Ken Dryden.
Murray was an angel and a hero who dedicated his retirement to
getting many thousands of third world children into their first bed.

So I got a bunch of people to sponsor me. All I had to do was walk
the length of the Peloponnese, from Patra to Githio, which is about
183 miles according to Google Maps. It took me twelve days of no
less than 12 hours walking, so I suspect it’s actually a bit farther.
On the grand scale of things a minor accomplishment, but for me a
great adventure…and dare I say challenging.

During the first few days, my poor shoe selection resulted in my
feet being covered in blisters and moleskins, and my ankles and
knees and hips flaring up to the point of agony. It was absolutely
ridiculous. I got out of bed on the sixth morning and could hardly
walk. Never mind the pain…how was I going to make 23 miles
today? How would I be able to get my carcase moving at a
sufficient speed to cover the distance even if I put in fourteen

I got to thinking a lot about desire and determination and quitting
and not quitting. I never seriously considered quitting, but I did
wonder what would happen if I just stopped walking. The heat
was intense, well into the 90s, but dry. The sun was punishing.
I had a bandana and straw hat protecting my head, and around
1 PM every day I would be covered in heat rash.

There were a few thoughts that made it easy to keep going:

1. I  thought of Caesar’s legions marching over the Alps in
winter carrying 50 lbs on their backs
2. I thought of all the kids who would be getting their
bedkits if I could just finish my mission
3. I kept thinking the ridiculously simple but compelling
thought…”just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll
get there”. I could find no flaw in this logical dictum.
4. I chanted the Buddhist chant: Nam-yo-ho-rang-gyay-kyo
for hours. I didn’t know what it meant but it was pleasingly distracting.

This year I’m promoting a song to help Sleeping Children Around the
. They are closing in on their millionth bedkit, and I want to put
my shoulder to the wheel. I’m not selling the song. You can listen to
it absolutely free. But I’m asking you, if you are so inspired to buy a
bedkit for a kid who needs it. It costs $35 Canadian and every dollar
and every penny goes into the bedkits. Sleeping Children Around
the World is volunteer run, and so 100% of donations goes directly
to the recipients. You will receive a photo of the actual child who is
being helped by you along with your donor number, so you know
they’re not monkeying around.

Volunteers pay their own expenses. Donate to Sleeping Children
Around the World here.

Please send me a screenshot indicating that you have made a
donation. This will help me to promote the song through Ariel

About the song. It’s called ‘Christmas Morning’. I wrote it in 1994.
George Milbrandt, proprietor of ¿C’est What?, a Toronto bar asked
me and a few songwriters to write a new song and present it on a
Friday night.

I was looking for an original variant to the usual joy and bright
lights themes and so asked myself if I had any experiences that
I would like to sing about in a song. I thought of those times when
we were small and hoped for a happy Christmas, and in fact we
just wanted a happy family and we hoped Christmas could be the
happy family transmission device.

Newsflash: A lot of kids don’t come from happy families!

So, the song starts out with a memory of an unhappy boy who longs
for a happy Christmas and the family to go with it. Next verse he
remembers an idyllic Christmas he once spent as a teenager with a
beloved cousin. They didn’t exchange gifts or get into any of the hype.
It is remembered as the best Christmas ever, including dancing barefoot
in the snow — all true!

Finally, he sings with trembling excitement of his hopes for
Christmas with his own young child. It ends on that happy note.

So, hear the song here.
Christmas Morning

Donate to Sleeping Children Around the
World here.

And please send me proof that you have donated.

Merry Christmas.

I will talk to you again early in the New Year.

Tom St. Louis

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