This post is a response to this post on the blog Charlie Says It.
I was raised in a family that celebrated Christmas and its true meaning – the joy and gift of Christ’s birth – while also observing wonderful family traditions with the whole extended family. It was good. And still is.
As an adult, with a family of my own, little has changed. We delight in watching our children open presents while trying to instill in them a love for giving and a knowledge that the reason we give is because God gave us His Son. It’s been so good.
But it can be better. A thousand times better, and that’s why I want to recapture Christmas.
Recapturing Christmas actually began for me this past September, when I began volunteering with Shoes 4 the Shoeless. Here I was introduced to children who have great needs. These children are in life situations where they have caregivers who either cannot or will not provide these needs for them. Most are fortunate to eat at least a free lunch and sometimes a free breakfast at school. But nights are hungry and often cold, weekends long and empty.
I’ve seen a teacher tear up as she described how grateful she was to be able to give new underpants to a child who didn’t have any. Another told our group of volunteers, “Our kids come to school to survive. They come to school to be safe, and be fed.”
Jesus loves these little children. And so must we.
I was proud, and privileged, yet humbled, and broken to be able to help and give love this year.
Christ calls on us to help the poor. These children who cannot provide for themselves are the poorest of the poor. And they have taught me what I need to know to recapture Christmas this year.
We desperately needed Christmas – a gift that brought absolute love and light into a world that was absolutely mean and dark. It can still be dark. Haven’t we seen that, oh so recently? But that’s why God sent Jesus – a gift – the Son of God come to live among such darkness, come from the beauty of heaven to suffer the indignities of human life! To give and give and give and serve and serve and serve, knowing He would receive nothing in return!
What I know, friends, is that Christmas – the hope of Christmas – needs to be lived in my life and my actions all year long. And so I’ve resolved to live in a way that it can be. For me, this means using my money and my time wisely so there’s some left over to give to those in need. This fall, in a variety of ways, I got a good start. In 2013, I want Christmas to be constant, a way of life, year-round, oozing Christmas out my pores. Can I do it? I don’t know. But I will try.
Because Christmas needs to be recaptured in my life. And friends, the chase is on.