With Christmas only a few days away, the pressure is on. I must admit, it’s taken awhile to get into the spirit of Christmas this year. “How so?” You ask. “You have a 3 year old that just discovered the magic of the season and a happy, babbling 7 month old that is on the verge of crawling?”
My explanation came in an article I read last week by Jeff Goins. His words moved me to tears and challenged me to action. While the importance of giving during the holiday season is always in my heart, it isn’t always at the forefront.
This past Friday, I found some much needed Christmas spirit.
My husband’s company participates in a program called Adopt a Child. They sponsor two local shelters for Christmas. The kids in the shelters have nothing. Without Adopt a Child, Christmas would not come for them.
Every year, my husband comes home from the Adopt a Child day filled with emotion and holiday spirit. As tears spring from his eyes, he tells me how these kids jump up and down over packages of underwear. They go crazy over new clothes. Their reaction to new toys is indescribable.
I’ve never been able to go because of work. One of the first things he said when I quit my job was, “You guys are coming to Adopt a Child.” And we did.
I was concerned about Lucas, but I explained to him that we were going to watch some kids open presents and it was our job to help. I explained that today was Christmas for the kids there and that we would open our presents later.
He did fantastic watching all the kids his age open presents and only once asked if he got a present, too. We reminded him that we were there to help. Mike gave him a garbage bag to collect wrapping paper and he enjoyed that just as much.
It was emotional, no doubt. The kids were truly appreciative and excited about the new and shiny things so foreign to them. What struck me most as a mother was watching the faces of the other mothers around me. Three of the children Mike’s department sponsored were siblings and they were all under the age of three. Their mother fought back tears the entire time her kids opened their gifts. The tender hug she gave each of us at the end was more than enough thanks.
I was humbled by the experience so much that Mike and I vowed to contribute more next year. We even volunteered to shop for some of the children.
From our world of plenty, it is the least we can do. Literally. We could do so much more. And we should.
And so should you. I know Christmas is but a few days away, but I challenge you to find a way to bring Christmas to a child in need. Maybe it is in the way of the Angel Tree or a family at church. Maybe it is by bringing some cheer to children in the hospital or in a children’s home. You could call a local school and see if they know any children that are in need this year.
Even if you’ve already done one of the above, consider doing more. There is no better way to find Christmas spirit than to give it to someone else.
What are some ways you’ve helped children in need this Christmas?
Life happens when we give of ourselves to others.
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