It is hard to believe that the Christmas season is once again upon us. Of course at my age, every morning I wake up and realize I can still walk and see and still go to work and be productive, it is a time for celebration.
During the Christmas season you can “feel” and see a difference in people. You notice more compassion, more giving, more forgiving. An atmosphere of heightened spirit, of cheerful charity. A time for bringing families together. A time to reflect upon how fortunate we are to live in a free country where we have achieved the American dream of building our own business, of owning our own home.
And isn’t it strange that during such times of joy and being with family, we seem to be more aware. Our senses seem also to be more attuned to those less fortunate. Especially the children. When we are out shopping with our families, we see them. Tattered clothes, runny noses, barefoot, seemingly mesmerized by all the new toys. And in that moment, we know that looking and longing is as close as some of those children will come to getting such a gift for Christmas. Dad didn’t get his bonus this year. Hell, dad didn’t even have a job this year. And when we are just driving to work early in the morning, we seem to be thinking about those “little guys” more than usual.
And you say to yourself, I want to do something more for kids like that this year. I’m going to buy an extra toy to give to the Church, or I’m going to give more than just my pocket change to the Salvation Army this year. Maybe I will stand by one of those red pots and ring that bell. Maybe I will go down to the Salvation Army and help serve those kids who must come there to have a Christmas meal at all. And you feel better about yourself, because you know these thoughts you have are caring and compassionate, and blessed. And you offer a little prayer of thanks for how you have been blessed, how you have a job that allows you to provide for your family, how your child will get what they have asked Santa for.
These, and many more, are the emotions of this Special Season. And thankfully, we do this over again each year. We suddenly realize that this is the time of the year when we reveal the best of us. There is no other time of year when we are so “tuned in” to the very best that is within us. The Christmas Season is, simply, the time of greatest joy in our lives, and the time of greatest compassion for the children, especially “those” children. The time when we open our hearts and hope for a better world.
Want to do yourself a real favor this Christmas Season? Go visit a foster home. Go find the place in your city that houses the kids who have no parents or go stand beside that kettle and ring that bell. And if you can’t do that, I hope, while you are out Christmas shopping you will take the time to just look around you a little closer. Look into those children’s eyes. Watch them while they look at the toys. If you look hard enough for just a little while, you will never forget. And, if you never forget, you will become a much better person, a giant of a person. For you will have attained the knowledge of a great part of what life is all about. Then, when you return to the comfort of your home and family, go take a look in the mirror. What do you see?
It’s about the children. Every one of them. I believe one reason God gives us children is to bring out the best in us. To express our love from one human being to another. It’s much easier to feel that way about the children than grown ups. Remember, no man stands so tall as when he bends down to help a child.
The real reason for this article is to get you to ask yourself, why can’t I feel this way and do these things every day? Why does it have to be just during a holiday season? Why can’t I be this person that I like so much every day?
Have a wonderful Christmas and be safe.