KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It's the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas trees are up, lights are on display and everywhere you go, you see the joy spread across window displays.
Stepping into Steve Brandon's home, Christmas music will greet guests at the door.
Brandon says it's a festive time.
The veteran served in the Marine band for four years, and his passion for music shows.
"I have a little bit of everything," Brandon said.
His walls are filled with all kinds of music, one top row is dedicated solely to Christmas music.
While it is a festive time in the Brandon household, he's had quite the journey.
"Steve's had, he's had a really rough four years," Brandon's wife said. "With his sepsis, infections, three or four surgeries, he doesn't have a hip, he has a spacer. It's been quite a journey."
It's one of the reasons why he and his wife decided to have a caregiver through Home Instead. The organization assists the elderly and veterans. And during the holiday season, it holds its annual "Be A Santa to a Senior."
"Home Instead reaches out whenever the season starts to several senior living communities and organizations" Home Instead Director of Operations, Paige Wheeler said. "And they provide us with a wish list for some of their less fortunate seniors."
Senior across the metro write down what they'd like for Christmas, and those wishlist ornaments hang on a tree inside The Living Stone in Lee's Summit, Missouri.
"It's as simple as stopping by, grabbing an ornament off the tree, fulfilling those wishes," Wheeler said.
Last year, Brandon received a blanket, sweater and several other items.
"I like gifts," Brandon said with a smile.
It's a small gesture he says goes a long way.
"It's always a surprise," Brandon said. "It's also an uplift on certain days."
Home Instead is a global organization. Across the world, Be A Santa to A Senior has provided more than two million gifts for 750,000 seniors. Locally, they've provided gifts to more than 200 seniors, and plan to do the same this year.
To "Be A Santa to a Senior," head to the Living Stone/Home Instead Senior Center at 233 SE Main St. in Lee's Summit. There, you can pick out the wishlist ornament off the tree, buy the items,and bring them back to the building, where the Home Instead will later deliver items to the seniors.
The deadline is Dec. 17.
The organization is also looking for caregivers to assist seniors in our area. To learn more, visit their website.