I realize that change is inevitable. Everything changes in this world. And if nothing ever changed life would be awfully boring. So I get that, but it still bothers me when things that I love change and I can’t enjoy what I used to. This year we’re dealing with a lot of change in how we celebrate Christmas. Because of changes in our family we will not get to enjoy some of my cherished family traditions. Christmas has always been one of my most favorite times of the year and a lot of that is because of the traditions that we have enjoyed in our family. Because we won’t get to do some of the things we normally do this year I have been kind of sad about the prospects for this Christmas for me.
There are some obvious things that I can do that will make the season more joyful. That begins with just reveling in giving gifts to those I love. I normally do that anyway, but I thought this year I want to take special joy in expressing my love through giving. But there are other ways that we can give. We can give by writing notes to people. How many notes do you actually get in the mail these days? My guess is not many. What a special thing it would be to receive a note of encouragement or appreciation. Another way we can express love is simply to do something unexpected for someone. Look around for someone you could do a kind deed or give a gift to when they were not expecting it. Especially there is great joy in looking for a needy family that you could bless by surprising them with gifts.
Two years ago Laurie and I traveled on Christmas day to visit Carissa and Michael in Mississippi. Before that trip we were talking to someone who mentioned to us that when she has to travel on Christmas Day she likes to bring a small gift for flight attendants who have to work on that special day. We thought that was a great idea. We bought some boxes of Sees candy and as we boarded the two flights we took that day we handed a box of candy to the flight attendant who was welcoming us aboard. We told them that we knew they had to work on Christmas day and we wanted to express our appreciation and tell them we hoped they had a Merry Christmas even though they were working. I was amazed at the reaction we got. They simply could not stop thanking us. During our flights the flight attendants would periodically come to our seats and express their thanks and ask if there was anything they could do for us. They were so appreciative. It wasn’t the greatness of the gift that mattered to them. It was that someone had thought about them and cared. I cannot remember what gifts I gave or received that Christmas. But I remember giving that gift. And I remember it as a very joyful thing. I’m thinking that maybe I can bring even more joy into my Christmas this season by thinking of someone who has to work on Christmas day and find a way to bring a gift to them.
It is more blessed to give than to receive. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you’d like to have joy in your life this Christmas the way to do it is to give.