Christmas. That time of year that makes our hearts warm, our giving endless, and our stress levels rise the closer the actual day nears.
Children wait for Santa to arrive, bringing their every desire. Toys, toys, and more toys are heaped at the base of our trees. Parents stretch their wallets, often skimping on bills to make sure that Santa is fully funded when he makes his arrival.
The list of people we need to buy for grows longer each year. We buy presents for people that are going to feel obligated to return the gesture and buy gifts for us. Realistically, we exchange money in the form of gifts. Gifts that neither party needed.
Cookies, fudge, pie, and candy fill each household from thoughtful neighbors. We fill our sugar tanks and our children are energized not only from the glycolic high but from excitement and anticipation for the festivities to come.
Merchants are excited to sell their “stuff” to make a profit that will keep their doors open yet another year.
None of this is bad. In fact, it brings all of us great joy as we celebrate; however, it does bring some thoughts to mind.
St. Nicholas was known not for giving us all of our “heart’s desires.” He was not the jolly man with a bag full of toys in the beginning. He was a very rich man known for his kindness, helping the poor and sick.
So it seems that the story of Scrooge has the meaning of Christmas pretty much on target. After learning his lesson, Scrooge helps the poor and sick. This also gives our families a great story to share from year to year; there is a tradition to watch it.
This year I am going to evaluate my giving. I am going to shorten my list of unneeded gifting, and will purposely open my heart to pass on traditions and hugs. Be mindful to focus on helping the sick and poor, and to listen to my heart.
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, there lies a baby that needs our help. The same stars in the sky twinkle down where they lay, but perhaps we can give enough for them to see another day.
Feeling better about the world we can enjoy, the “Elf on the Shelf” brings presents every single day to our wee ones. We can laugh as we watch Chevy Chase and Christmas Vacation. We can stuff down pie and candy, then make New Year’s resolutions to diet.
I know I will cry for those I don’t have near to me this year. I will laugh with the ones that I still have on earth to enjoy. I will give to those who are in need of food and shelter. I will hug those in need of love and kindness. I will pray to know who needs it.