When I walked into the local Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving, the store was playing,
“It's the most wonderful time of the year. It's the hap-happiest season of all…”
I hummed along as I walked down the aisles looking for things. When I got back in the car, I tuned on Christmas music for the drive back home. Subconsciously, my mind had shifted to the holiday mood. This temperament would last until Christmas was over. It is not a unique feeling just for me, rather a sentiment shared by millions of people in the U.S and around the world during this time. The psychological shift happens every year, like clockwork.
Yes, we know Christmas is coming. Whether anyone likes to admit it or not, Christmas is the hallmark celebration of the season. The spirit of the season conjures up a magical spell of joy and excitement in many. The attitude becomes contagious and permeates to a herd mentality! We begin to acknowledge even the smallest deed. I told a stranger, “Merry Christmas.” He replied, “I don’t even celebrate Christmas, but I will take it,” with a big smile on his face and then bowed his head.
The highpoint of the season is of course Christmas day. Soon after, the season will begin to lose its luster. On Christmas day, something magical happens. The gift giving.
For Christians, the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. He was The gift from God; Himself in the human form. It was the gift that solidified a relationship between God and humans. It was an act of showing great love and brought us healing.
The history books say that the tradition of gift giving at Christmas is a reflection of the gifts given to infant Jesus by the Three Wise Men. To me, gift giving is more of a symbolic act of God’s gift.
Over the years, the spiritual holy day has become the season’s extravaganza. Regrettably, the commercialization of the act itself has shed a negative light on gift giving.
Yet the significance of gift giving remains paramount. The act of giving builds and enhance relationships. Giving shows you care. Giving expresses thoughtfulness and affection. Giving brings joy. Giving uplifts and heals people!
There is nothing wrong with giving fancy gifts to your loved ones on Christmas day. It is a tradition and it comes from the heart. I sincerely believe the tradition must continue.
Yet, we must remember the reason for giving on Christmas day. Amidst giving gifts to loved ones, can we use this time to give gifts to fill voids as well? The gift from God was to fill a void. Are we capable of emulating God’s act?
Yes, we are!
There are many people out there, out of our sight, who are having difficulties putting meals on the table and parents who are unable to give gifts to their children at this time of the year. All of them are well aware of the festivities that are going on around them. This makes them feel down, hopeless and sad.
However, as a person with means you can make a difference and fill their void. You may not know the families who are in need. But you will find [reputable] local charities in your community who know who do. You can fill the void (make a miracle happen) through the local charities. Through these organizations your food and toy donations get distributed to the families in need. Indirectly, you make these families feel special. You uplift them. You empower them. You make them feel happier and fulfilled. You restore their faith in humanity. You make them feel that they are not alone.
Giving creates long lasting memories. Giving helps you to find yourself. The act of giving allows you the opportunity to discover yourself. Joy from giving, knowing that you have bettered someone’s life, is a spiritual reward that is far more valuable than any tangible gift you will ever receive.
There is another God like gift you may be capable of. What is it? The gift of life through a Whole Blood, Platelets or Plasma donation! Human blood can’t be replicated and there is no substitute for human blood. Every 2 seconds someone somewhere needs a blood product. Only your blood donation can help save lives!
Giving uplifts and empowers strangers. Giving confirms your personal values. Giving makes you aware of your ability to improve strangers’ lives. Participating children in your giving enforces and nurtures their attitude that they can make a positive change in the world. Giving inspires your friends and family to follow your lead. Your act of giving has an exponential effect.
Once you find the joy of making others happy, giving becomes a recurring act. Then it turns into a habit. In giving, you will find peace within yourself. In Giving, you will find riches in you. In Giving, you will reap gratitude for life.
As Anne Frank said; “No one has ever become poor by giving. Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First, we make our choices. Then our choices make us."