The holidays are officially upon us. You can smell them in the air, hear them on the radio, and see them in the shopping malls.
The outside air has become dramatically colder, which is fitting for the holiday season. After all, what’s Christmas without a good snow storm? Children get out of school to toss snowballs at each other or build snowmen with carrot noses and stick arms.
The holiday season is a joyful time of year.
Unless you’re living on the streets, that is. A cold winter night with frigid air is not so joyful when you are shivering in a flimsy blanket under a bridge.
So, perhaps you decide to volunteer for the holidays. That way you don’t feel bad when you go home to enjoy a holiday feast with your family and friends. The baked ham with buttery mashed potatoes is just the right meal to celebrate this joyous season. Besides, those people who are homeless get their own meal, even though they are eating off paper plates in a shelter.
Turn on the big screen television in the evening so you and your family can watch that ever-so-popular A Charlie Brown Christmas. String those colorful lights across the front of your house so your neighbors will all know that you are celebrating the holiday season.
Stand under that mistletoe nailed to your doorframe to show your affection to your loved ones. The smells of apple cider, cinnamon, pumpkin pie, and cookies in your home bring back fond childhood memories of holidays past.
And then there’s the shopping.
That list of gifts to buy just gets longer and longer every year. But hunting for just the right present at the local mall is part of the ritual of the holidays. Watching your loved one unwrap that gift is worth the hours spent walking through crowded stores.
Of course, people and kids living in homeless shelters get their own holiday gifts. Sweaters, blankets, toys purchased based on their demographic rather than their personality. Boy, 10 years old. Maybe a skateboard?
What is the holiday season without giving?
Giving special gifts to our loved ones and friends is part of this wonderful holiday season. Giving to those in need is also part of the season’s joy.
So go ahead and give that Lexus with the red bow to someone special, just like the television commercial depicts. But let’s also work together to put a red bow on the front door of a new apartment for someone who has no home.
That’s true giving.