Have you had as hard a time as I have staying in this fall season?Thanksgiving is this Thursday, yet it seems as if I’m late decorating my Christmas tree in the living room to display the ornaments I’ve collected through the years. Several friends have already boasted of their trees brightly shining in the windows of their homes. Is that why I feel anxious to pull out my decorations and begin to deck the halls? Maybe.
Our extended family shared a thanksgiving meal this past Saturday, because that’s what our schedules dictated. An even earlier thanksgiving dinner just adds to my desire for Christmas, to transform our home with lights, ornaments, nativities, and decorations. Each of our calendars are already filled with dates of celebrations and parties. In fact, my husband and I have already attended our first Christmas banquet of the season.
During this busy time of year, when you are making your Christmas lists and penciling in the dates for your invitations and deadlines, do you make plans to serve others? Serving others is a major part of this time of year for many people. Noone wants to see a child go without Christmas gifts, a warm coat or food to eat. We greet friends and strangers alike with Merry Christmas and rally around the organizations that extend a helping hand.
Around our town the churches jump right in with Christmas productions, live nativities and opportunities to assist those less fortunate. My local church will give us the opportunity to adopt a child for Christmas by hanging gift tags on a Christmas tree. Others may do something similar or pack shoe boxes for children living in extreme poverty. Our city is blessed with programs like The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program, Christmas Memories, The Refuge Center’s kids Christmas Store, Blue Angel, and so many other programs. There is no reason why a child should go without presents to open on Christmas Day.
I want my children to experience the full joy of this season, the reverence, the stories, the traditions, the giving and receiving. As with other years most of my extra time will be spent packing christmas bags at our local angel tree warehouse. I will not do this alone. Friends, relatives and especially my kids will have a part. My youngest will line up bicycles according to their child’s number while working along side me in the warehouse. My oldest will help families choose their Christmas Angels to adopt from off the tree at the mall. We will shop for our own Angels.
This Christmas don’t forget to give generously to those you love, your neighbors, and those who need a hand up. Be generous with your money and time. Time is important, creativity is useful. Volunteer to ring a bell, wrap gifts, help a child shop, pack gift bags or assemble bikes.