Charles Dickens apparently saw the disparity between the poor and the rich. “A Christmas Carol” speaks to the spirit of giving. There is much joy in seeing the joy in a child’s eye when they see goodness and kindness wrapped in a bow.
I guess I’m on a 12 days of Christmas role writing about the stuff that you’ll rarely see staged on the front page of the Newspaper. I’ve been in the “poor recipient” category and I’ve been the person who gets to bring the gifts to the family in “need.” Each of these “stories” are true with the hope that this Spirit of Christmas that Dickens talked about will prevail!
As you are entering the holiday, what are you contemplating? There are the usual parties, the obligatory gifts for the boss’ dog, the jaunts to the grandparents. You have probably made the list of the extra food supplies you will need for all the feasting. Have you thought about those who will have a much different holiday from last year? There will be families, singles, and elderly who are “barely making it”. The extras like: gifts, decorations, parties, clothes, special foods aren’t even a possibility. Some things like heat, to keep the house warm, may not be in this year’s budget.
Last year, my husband and I received a phone call (several days before Christmas) from a couple who spend each year buying on sale toys. Their goal find children, in the community, who otherwise wouldn’t receive any gifts. They had contacted a church. The church had already done their “adopt a family” holiday giving. The church gave the couple our number. We in turn contacted a small Hispanic church in the poorest section of our community. Two days before Christmas, several of us gathered together to wrap gifts. I had never met these people but immediately felt right at home. After our gift wrapping party, we spent the afternoon going door to door passing out gifts. Many of the dwellings we stopped at had little furniture let alone holiday decorations. Children were running from other areas to make sure that we didn’t miss them. When all was said and done, we handed out gifts to 60 families. These gifts coming primarily from this couple living on a modest income. There was nothing modest about the generous heart of this couple.
Can you reconsider your holidays just a little? What if you bought several gifts for people not in your circle of friends or family?What if you encouraged co-workers to do the same? What about purchasing extra groceries to go along with the gifts? The possibilities of how you can help are almost endless. You might say I have no way to get gifts to people who need them. Being in the non-profit sector, I promise you there are organizations that will find a place where those gifts are needed. Your local church is on the radar as they are receiving petitions daily for help. Are you the bold type? Go into a poor community yourself and do what we did. Knock on doors and hand out gifts. No modern-day Santa will be rejected.