Sunday, December 25, 2011
Spreading Joy By Giving At Christmas
Each Christmas Season brings new memories and new lessons learned. A thread that came through this season is that part of the Joy of Christmas is in giving. Giving touches upon the true meaning of Christmas in God sending His son to the world as the greatest gift. There were many ways this came to mind this year and I will simply touch on a few ways that stood out to me.
Recently as a family we went to a concert of the Tran Siberian Orchestra for their Winter tour. If you ever have the opportunity to see them in concert they put on an amazing performance. Their talent as artists and performers is superb. (Click on this sentence to hear a short video of their music). We thoroughly enjoyed the sights and sounds of their music and light show. What does this have to do with giving as we were on the receiving end? Well, something else I appreciate about the Trans Siberian Orchestra is their performance always tells a story. As I listened intently to the mesmerizing voice of the narrator and the lyrics of the singers the message became clear. The story was emphasizing one important part of Christmas was that of giving and being open to give to strangers in their time of need. They were also getting across that this aspect of Christmas should be a year round lifestyle change in us. So we went to the concert simply to enjoy their music but came away with an important lesson as well.
During the Christmas season as I shop, I am also reminded of the importance of giving as I hear the familiar bells of the Salvation Army. They are a Christian based organization that does so much good around the world. By placing spare change into the red kettles it is a way to give to the needy that the Salvation Army helps.
Then a few days ago while my wife and daughter went shopping, I spent the day baking small gingerbread cakes and Christmas cookies. From the memory side of Christmas there is nothing better than baking cookies while listening to Holiday music. Since we are new in the neighborhood I thought of making up plates of cookies and giving them to our neighbors who we are still getting to know. When they came back from shopping my wife helped me plate the cookies which you see at the top of this column. She creatively wrapped them up with plastic wrap and red and green ribbon so they were ready for delivery.
Christmas Eve morning I walked them around to our surrounding neighbors. I could see joy in their eyes as their gazed at the decorated tray of baked goods. Who would think that giving a simple tray of cookies would brighten someone’s life? We hope in the New Year to know these neighbors better.
Reflection: What are some ways you practice giving during the Holidays? As you look into the New Year are there ways you can keep Christmas alive by giving through out the year?