Staffer reflects on Christmas meaning
For as long as I remember, Christmas has always been a magical time of the year. A time when families and friends gather together, serve a delicious Christmas dinner, and in the evening gather around the Christmas tree to open presents. All through the year I know that I am truly blessed, and with News Year’s not far behind Christmas, it is during this time that I especially look back on the year and think of all the things I am so grateful for. However, I also realize the great number of people in need.
Growing up my parents always taught me that Christmas is about the gift that God gave everyone when he sent his only son to redeem us years ago, not about what waits beneath the tree. This makes Christmas so very special to me. Just as God loved everyone and sent us a gift, we in turn ought to show love and kindness towards each other.
Christmas, often referred to as the happiest time of the year, is also a time of hurt and sadness. During this season people may find themselves reflecting on memories of lost loved ones, unemployed, or even homeless. In circumstances such as these we should show kindness to those in need.
Some of my fondest childhood Christmas memories took place when my family would visit the homeless shelter in Wichita Falls. At the homeless shelter, my family gave out gift bags to everyone before Christmas. Even while I was too young to serve food or help a great deal during the process of making the bags, my family allowed me to pass out toys to kids my own age. While it appears that I got nothing in return, I know truly that I received the best gift ever. When helping someone in need and seeing the smiles on their faces, I received a gift never found wrapped in a box or placed under a tree; a gift that fills the heart with happiness and joy.
As Christmas draws near, we as students have the opportunity to make an impact on our community. As we go through our daily lives we may know one or several people in need. Needs vary from physical items such as food and shelter, or wanting someone to talk to and spend time with. Nursing homes are a great example of place we can go and spend time with others. Elderly people who live at nursing homes are often alone at Christmas, because their families have passed away or live out of the area. The best Christmas present to them may simply be taking the time to talk and listen to them.
With unemployment rates high this year, it is difficult to provide daily essentials for themselves and their families. W.A.R.M, Hope Chest and other local charities, supply families with essentials such as food, clothing and shelter. These organizations accept donations or often allow volunteers. Both of these opportunities provide great ways to help those in need in our community.
As Christmas draws near and throughout the new year to come, it is important not to forget those in need. It is through helping others that we all can receive a gift far better than anything waiting beneath the Christmas tree.