“O holy night…O night divine, when Christ was born.”
In the hours and days to come, Christians – and even some who are not of Christian faith – will enjoy the fullness of the Christmas season culminating with Christmas Day.
It is the day we set aside to celebrate God’s great gift to mankind – the birth of Jesus Christ.
The season beckons us to experience that great joy with family and others dear to us, for with “a thrill of hope the weary world rejoices”.
We do so by repeating as much as possible the events we have learned through The Bible that occurred during that Blessed occasion. The magi, the wise men, presented gold, frankincense and myrrh in honour of Christ’s birth. The tradition continues as we take special delight in finding or serendipitously discovering the perfect Christmas gift for each person on our list. Then we take pleasure in wrapping those gifts, the beauty of the presentation adding to the joy of the occasion. We give gifts to people who are special to us to show our love and appreciation for their being in our lives.
The joy is further extended when it is happily received.
When we think of the joy of receiving Christmas presents, children first come to mind. Many organizations (and individuals or families) at this time of year make a special effort to provide gifts for kids in our society and community, many of whom may not have otherwise received one. If you are able to contribute, there is still time. Make the effort. You surely will brighten the smile on a kid’s face.
For any child to miss out on what should be one of the happiest times of the year would be such a pity. So even if you do not have children in your life, you can extend the Christmas spirit to a needy family by donating to any of the many groups that are there to help. You may not see the face of the child who receives your gift, but you can be sure that your act of kindness will be multiplied. There is a special grace in this kind of Christmas giving.
Young children are the ones usually remembered, but gifts for older children are also needed. In fact, more so, since that age group is often overlooked.
While children are always a special consideration when it comes to Christmas gift giving, there is scarcely an adult who does not also experience joy when receiving a gift at Christmastime.
For many though, the best gift at this time of year is not a gift in pretty wrapping and colourful ribbons and bows that we purchase and present to each other, but the opportunity to be with those we hold in our hearts. Which is why we remember those who are separated from us at this time of year – students studying abroad, members of our armed forces who are unable to spend Christmas with their families because of their responsibility to country and those dear to us in distant places.
We also think of those who may be alone at Christmastime. Nobody should be alone at Christmas. And, in fact, no one has to be alone. There is so much to do and give at this time. Give the gift of your time and friendship to the needy. Share some Christmas cheer by helping out at such places as the Salvation Army or the Scott Mission in downtown Toronto, which welcome both those who have a need to share and those who need your sharing spirit at this time of year.
It should be no secret that such acts of kindness are mutually enriching experiences.
“Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe help to make the season bright” but it is really the sharing of goodwill that makes the season right. So, rather than be alone, volunteer your time. The joy from sharing your time with others could be immeasurable.
To all our Share readers and advertisers, our entire Share community, we wish you a Happy and Christ-filled Christmas.