Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Past December

Christmas: a Christian holiday that is on December 25th that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

          No mention of Santa, presents, or Christmas feasts.  No elves, reindeer, or sleigh bells.  No Ipads, Cars, or Keurigs.  No turkey, ham, or homemade Oreo's.  All material things are gone; just a beginning.  It’s very easy for people to forget the real meaning behind Christmas.  Every year, it seems like we get more and more into the material side of Christmas instead of the sentimental, real side.  God gave us, on that day, a baby who later died for our sins.  I don’t know about you, but that’s the best gift I receive every year.  It doesn't have a touch screen and it doesn't tell time, but it’s something I can’t live without.  God gave EVERYONE hope, love, and mercy in their stocking, but what did you give to God?  This is the other part of Christmas that I feel people forget about.  Christmas isn't just about receiving, but also giving.  God gave his son and didn't expect a wrapped up IPhone in return.  We receive and give things that range from Ipads to socks, but do any of these things stand up against Gods’ gifts?  I feel that God doesn't only want us to celebrate his gift, but also share his gift.  That is what God wants for Christmas.  Not an extravagant electronic or marvelous feast, but he wants for me to share the gift he gave me.  I feel like if God can give up a son to be presented to us and later die, then we can give a part of our selves and resources to those around us who don’t get to celebrate the physical side of Christmas.  Am I the only one with this feeling?  I've had this feeling of “wanting to help” all throughout the Christmas season; however, I’m going to push myself to continue having this feeling during other parts of the year.  God gives us the gift of life EVERY SINGLE DAY.  We shouldn't just cram giving into the small "Christmas Season"; but instead, it should be spread all throughout the year.  Some people, however, believe that the only way to truly change someone’s life is to spend a lot of money and time on your contribution, and their argument is that they can't afford to do that all throughout the year.  Big things make a big impact, but a dozen small things can make just as big of an impact.  There are a large amount of tiny things that can bring up the cheer you feel at Christmas even in the hottest days of July.

Giving to a Charity:  Have something you’re passionate about?  Find a charity that supports it and give.  Some examples: Red Cross, Alzheimer’s Association, ASPCA, and The Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Paying for Someone behind You: I've now done this twice and the ‘warm-fuzzy’ feeling never goes away.  It’s also cool when other people do this for you.  It hasn't happened to me personally, but recently, my friends and I were at a convenience store and a man we all knew came up and paid for the girls’ drinks. The girls tried to argue with him, but he simply said, "Merry Christmas".  He asked me if I wanted something, but I wasn't going to get something now just because he was paying.  The kindness didn't affect me directly, but it still showed me that there are amazing people in this world.

Leaving Change at a Vending Machine: Put a couple dollars in change in an envelope and tape it to a vending machine so maybe someone can enjoy a treat or drink from you!

Helping an Elderly Person across the Street

Giving can be as simple as passing along a Smile and “Have a Good Day!” 

These random acts of kindness may not seem like much, but they can make a big impact even if you don’t see it.  My challenge for everyone is to hold on to the “giving feeling” of Christmas and carry it with you 365 days of the year instead of just three.  God gives to us every single day of the year: Why can’t we do the same?  Don’t think that small things are out-of-limits or not impactful, because they can make a difference.  The world would be an amazing place if people continued giving, even after December.

**While writing this post, I continually found myself looking back at a song by Carrie Underwood!  I hope you enjoy it!**

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