LAKE CHARLES, LA.(KPLC) -While the younger folks may be out there fighting the crowds for the latest in electronics, many older people have gift lists not nearly as extravagant or expensive.
Many people throw themselves into a frenzy seeking to take advantage of the after Thanksgiving deals. And some of those door busters such as electronics do appeal to older or disabled people, who wish for gifts to help pass the time. Douglas Harris lives at a low income housing facility for low income elderly and disabled, "I'd like an Xbox 360 because it takes up a lot of my time when I don't have nothing else to do. Cold days like this I can sit in my apartment and play video games."
Lionel Hamilton says, "I'd like another TV. I have an old raggedy tv and I'd like to have an up to date one." Linda Dantley wants to listen to music. "I want dv player and some gospel music."
Ophelia Leday says she would enjoy having a "clock that goes on the wall. Could I have a grandfather clock? If I can't have that, just a wall clock, whatever."
Yet here at Chateau du Lac high rise, items on many residents Christmas wish lists stem from need. Explains Debra Nash, "What I want for Christmas, for Santa to bring me a coat. An all weather coat or just a plain coat. Brown and black or red. Brown, black, tan or beige, neutral color because I need one, I don't have nothing and I don't have no money to buy none 'cause I'm on a fixed income."
Seventy three year old Mary Alford uses a shopping cart to get around, but what she really wants is a walker with wheels and a seat."I really would like a walker. The ones that have the seat on it so I could sit sometimes when I get tired and (one with) the basket."
Those who live here at the high rise are on a fixed income and not in a position to go out and buy a bunch of Christmas gifts. Still, if you don't have a lot of money it doesn't mean you don't have something to give. Says Linda Dantley, "I know I don't have a lot of money but I will give myself to try to help somebody. That's what it's all about, to show your love."
Hamilton says he takes time to speak to people for whom he cannot afford to buy gifts. "I wish 'em happy holidays and all that." Says Harris, "I mail them cards." Alford gives a spiritual gift. "I give them a prayer. I pray to the good Lord and ask him to help them."
Dantley adds, "It's not all about presents. It's love. That's what it's about. Love and spending time with people. "
And after seeing many Christmas days come and go, they may know better than most the gifts that last.
If you want to help make Christmas merry for those at the high rise, call Chateau du Lac management next week and they'll tell how you can help. The number is 436-0380.