Keep it simple, stupid. That should be my mantra for the Christmas season.
Every year I tell myself this is going to be "the year" I get back to basics. No more expensive gifts bought in September; no more worrying about what to get my grandkids; no more Clark Griswold Christmases.
We seem to be so caught up in the commercializing of my favorite holiday that we lose all perception of what the true meaning of Christmas is all about.
I have rung bells for the Salvation Army and watch as people turn the other way so they don't have to make eye contact with the volunteers.
That is their choice not to give; but isn't Christmas about giving and not about receiving?
Giving doesn't have to have a monetary connotation. I bet many of us have well stocked pantries and wouldn't miss a few cans of nonperishable food. A bowl of pork & beans or chicken noodle soup could make the difference in someone not going to bed hungry.
When was the last time you gave freely of your time?
Shut-ins and nursing home residents with no family would love some company. Bring them a plate of cookies or help them make a jigsaw puzzle. Neither involves much money but the time spent is immeasurable.
You not only are doing something worthwhile for those folks but you will come away knowing you "gave" at Christmas. And I'm not excluding the men.
How about checking around to see who might need their sidewalk shoveled or driveway cleared?
Nothing bothers me more than seeing an elderly or physically challenged person battling Mother Nature's wrath, when just up the street is an able bodied person with a snow blower. Give a person a ride to a doctor's appointment, take them shopping or do their grocery shopping for them. There are so many ways in which we can help.
Christmas is a great time to begin giving but it shouldn't stop there. Giving should be 24/7, 365 days a year.
The birth of our savior, while the simplest of gifts, was what Christmas is all about. By receiving Jesus in your heart, you will give his gift to those who need it most.
Diane L. Schabo