‘Tis the season

I cannot wait for this Christmas break. After a long and tiring semester, this is really my chance to wind down.

I’m looking forward to relatives, brunches, presents, food, and just good ‘ole rest and relaxation.

The whole Christmas season is one of my most favorite times of the year. I love the scented candles, decorating, baking, wrapping gifts, making cards, sitting down with a cup of coffee and a good book, etc.

But I’ve been thinking lately. You know what happens: we go around, singing about cheer, talking about giving things away, thinking about the look on someone’s face when they open gifts. But do we really make an effort to make someone else’s day? Sure, we give people presents. But do we really go and look for ways to give to other people, or are we so involved in making sure everything that affects us is perfect so we can have a life of ease?

A couple mornings ago, some of my siblings and I decided to get some breakfast at McDonalds. Now, this doesn’t happen very often, but it was a nice treat. While contemplating what to order, an old man wearing a cap that said: “Vietnam Veteran” came up to us and said,

“I’m paying for everything this morning, so order what you want, and it’s on me. I got a raise!” He grinned with whatever teeth he had left and wanted us a $20 bill. Then, as he walked over to his table, we thanked him, then watched as he sat down by himself and drank his coffee.

We ordered our food, used his money, then proceeded to give  him the change. (or at least try to) He insisted that we keep it, and told us it was his pleasure.

We got home, ate our food, and told our mom what happened. When our dad got home for lunch, we told him also. He said something that didn’t even cross my mind.

“You should give the change to somebody in need. Somebody who needs it more than you do.”

~~

So much of this season is focused on ourselves. What I want for Christmas. Which decorations put up. Me this, me that. 

While I was thinking about what would like, he was thinking about what others would like. While I was trying to decide how to spend my money, he was making sure we had money to spend.

If a total stranger can show us that he cares, shouldn’t we do the same for our own families?

The Lord has been showing me lately, that the world indeed does not revolve around me. Whether it’s by sitting in an uncomfortable position so my little sister can sleep soundly in the car, or when I spend much of my long-saved money on Christmas presents.

Every day, more and more things happen that make it obvious that I am not the center of everyone’s attention.

Like earlier, I saw a homeless man on the side of the road. It was cold, and he didn’t have very warm clothes. Was he more needy than I? Of course. Did I do anything about it? No.

People like this are everywhere I look. I seem to notice them more and more.

Not everyone has a merry Christmas. Not everyone can afford a Christmas tree, or even a warm house for the winter. Not everyone has family that loves them.

So this Christmas, try not to think about yourself more than others. Maybe go visit elderly people at your Church. Maybe put a few dollars in the Salvation Army bucket you saw at the grocery store. Maybe give a coat to the cold man on the side of the street. There are so many opportunities to show Christ’s love and to make someone else’s day.

What are you looking forward to this Christmas?

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