Its that time of year again when we get bombarded with all that comes along with the holidays. Holiday anxiety and fatigue I assume are quite common and something most of us experience. With this in mind sitting down to write was not the easiest task until something within spoke up. That little voice reminded me to STOP, BREATH, and FOCUS on something simple—the word GIVE. Not “give” as in gift giving but giving of time, talents, and love was what came into my heart. Sure gift giving is fun but how else could I truly give that would be more meaningful?
This led me to think about “The Sparkle Box” children’s book. If you have not read it its an amazing story of kindness, giving, and discovering the true meaning of Christmas. I don’t want to ruin the whole store but basically the sparkle box is a collection of all the service you do for others throughout the month of December. Then on Christmas morning you open the sparkle box and read out loud all you have done to “give” to others. This is your family’s gift to Jesus on his birthday.
My husband, kids, and I read this together as a family and decided we too were going to have a “Sparkle Box” in our home. It has been amazing seeing my little ones come in and secretly place a paper inside of a good deed they had done that day for someone.
I have to say even I was inspired to do a random act of kindness the other day while at Target. I had to purchase a gift card as a gift. The idea came to me to get another gift card and give it randomly to someone as I left the store. I quickly prayed “Dear God, help me to hand this to someone who really needs it”. As I walked out the door a young man looking and analyzing his receipt was there with one small baby and a toddler in his cart. I handed him my gift card looked him in the eye and quickly said “Merry Christmas” and took off! Boy did I feel good about that one! I was smiling the rest of the day!
Though it was nice to give a monetary gift what is it that people are truly yearning for at Christmas time? How can we give of ourselves? It is in giving not receiving that we truly begin to understand and feel God’s love and Grace.
So this Christmas and holiday season I challenge you to look beyond the mall, or worrying about holiday weight gain and how you are going to get it all done. Instead take a deep breath and think
- Who could use a hug?
- Who could use someone to listen to them?
- Who could use a shoulder to cry on?
- Who could use a home cooked meal?
- Who could use a phone call?
- Who could use a friend?
- Who could use some support and encouragement?
- Who could use your full attention and being fully present?
- Is there an elder in your family that would enjoy a visit from you?
If you start everyday this holiday with this in mind you won’t have to look far. These opportunities present themselves daily but we need to make ourselves aware and then ACT! When you truly open your eyes and heart you will see these opportunities of true “giving” right in front of you. Of course it’s nice to take on other opportunities such as Adopt a Family or random gift card giving but you don’t need any money to give of yourself.
Giving of yourself, your time, and your talents are truly the some of the best things money can never buy! This holiday season and always remember that it is in giving we truly experience Jesus and the REAL FULFILLING meaning of Christmas.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!