The Reason For The Season
I think that sometimes we can get lost in the commercialization of things this time of year. The proof of that is everywhere we look. Every store or shop seems to have their own idea of how to make the season more festive and memorable than the year previous.
This year, however, has been a little rougher for me than most have been...which I believe is a test of my strength and willingness to submit to the will of our Creator. So I have sat and endured every Christmas cartoon known to man...I have watched store Santa’s posing with pictures of children who would rather be ducking and weaving in and out of a four lane highway. I have watched retailers attempt to make their sales and “bargains” look like what we might want Christmas to be. All of this, isn’t always a bad thing...it’s always nice to see the excitement of children and the hidden secrets that this particular holiday seems to bring.
This year was completely turned around for me...I was all ready to become “Scrooge”. And in my mind, I had reason to. Then something wonderful happened in my life...I experienced the love of God through the heart of my daughter.
First you must understand, she is a teenager...not unlike most teenagers. She wants things, and she knows that there will be things that no matter how much she wants them, or how much I wish I could get them for her...she just won’t receive them. But this brown eyed beauty decided that this year for Christmas she wanted to play Santa Claus for a child on her school’s “Angel Tree”. Keeping in mind that she knew that by us buying for another child meant that her lean Christmas list...just went on a diet. She didn’t care. I remember the day that she was talking to me about it...tears in her eyes. She just wanted to make a child happy for Christmas. And so we went shopping for this sweet 2 year old boy that she didn’t know and would never meet. We got him a few things...which she picked out. She went home and wrapped them and placed them in a giant gift bag and took them to school.
I can not even begin to express to you the joy that I felt through her at that moment. But I can only really think of one comparison which may assist in my lack of descriptive prose. Watching her was like the feeling I would get as a young child coming in from the cold. I would get to drink this giant coffee cup filled with creamy Hot Cocoa...you know the kind I mean...with the foam on the top from the giant melted marshmallow that used to be there. When you drank it, it was like your body was literally thawing out. There were parts of my body that were coming to life that I didn’t even realize were frozen.
My daughter became that for me...a sweet, warm, smiling example of that chocolaty goodness. And the real magic was...she made everyone feel that way. We all laughed and sang songs and smiled at everyone today.
All of this made me think about the saying...the reason for the season; it was like a light bulb came on. The reason for the season...is to give to others that in which we are given. It isn’t about video games or wish lists. It is about reflecting the love that God has given us...and sharing it with everyone else.
It may be true that we don’t have as much as the next person, but what we have is intended to be shared. I always try to remind others of our blessings, because we can get caught up in what we don’t have and we forget what we do have. We may not have tons of presents under the tree, and as true as that is...there will be people who do not have a home to put a tree...never mind the presents underneath. We may not have a huge Christmas feast, but there are people who will not have food to eat on Christmas at all...or any other day. We will miss those we lost this year and our hearts may weep for them...but there are people who will spend this holiday all alone. Can you imagine living on this huge planet and feeling like you are all alone?
Today my daughter warmed our hearts...by simply opening hers. I hope it is an example that is set not in vain. Reach out for someone today, touch their hearts and don’t be afraid to warm their souls. God only asks that we give to others what HE has given to us...HIS LOVE. It costs nothing to love one another. If the only present you give to someone is your time...it is time well spent. Shine on one another...the reflection is that of our Creator.