Thursday, October 20, 2011

How will you celebrate the holiday season?

It is that time of year again.  Soon there will be a Thanksgiving buffet at my table followed by a Christmas tree decorated by presents.  So, to prepare for the upcoming celebrations, I spent the day shopping ... buying birthday presents for my husband, buying items to decorate my home for Thanksgiving,  and browsing online for Christmas presents for my girls and family. Sound productive?  I am not so sure now.

You see, I just read a blog that talked of a little boy in another country sleeping on a dirt floor with his 3 siblings  and eating rotted vegetables as his dinner.  Yet, despite what I consider horrible circumstances, he had joy because someone cared enough to share money with his family through missions.  Now, I am ashamed of the time I wasted today focusing on giving to those who already have so much when I could have spent my time finding ways to support others in need.  How is it that I can collect food for families in need yet shop for $200 presents all in the same day?  Am I clueless?  Am I uncaring?  Am I sheltered?

The Bible talks of being a good steward.  I have always thought of that in terms of giving my tithe at church, but I am not sure how often I have taken the time to see that it applies to how I spend ALL of the money God has given me (in my Sunday morning tithe and in my spending every day).

Tonight, I am not shopping for shiny Christmas presents that will look beautiful in wrapping paper and a bow. I am spending time writing down ways I can help others in need this holiday season.  The people in my daily life are blessed beyond measure.  There is nothing they truly need other than my love and friendship.  So this year, I want to share quality time and conversations with them instead of wasting my time running from store to store for the fictitious perfect gift.

I want to spend my money helping others who are truly in need.  I want to give to the people Jesus would have served here on earth.  I want to spend my money and my time reaching out to those in need.  I may send a cow to Guatemala (Heifer International) , bake for a local mother battling cancer, offer to wrap presents for my elderly neighbor, or offer a listening ear and caring heart to a friend going through a troubling time.

This year, the best gift I can give my children is to teach them that there are others in need, that we can make a difference, and we can share Jesus love with others through our actions.  I want to show my children what Thanksgiving and CHRISTmas are really about.  I will be thankful for all that I have been given, and I will share my resources, love, friendship, time and the joy of Christ with those in need.  Won't those memories last far longer than the memories of any present wrapped under a tree?