Publisher - December 2018
Blessed is the season which
engages the whole world
in a conspiracy of love.
— Hamilton Wright Mabie —
Christmastime is magical. Somehow it manages to take some of the grumpiest of grumps and hardest of hearts and soften them. Even through all the busyness, stress, and sadness many feel, people think of others more during the holidays than any other time.
More than one-third of all charitable giving is given in the month of December. Some bah-humbugs site end of year tax deductions as the influx, but most surveyed say the tax break is not the catalyst behind their giving. I believe the power of giving and making a difference is contagious—we humans are fueled by love.
I am in awe of how the magic of the season transforms the human race. Elevated energy levels are evident almost everywhere. The holiday music, the vivid colors, the decorations, the happy hubbub all add to the wonder. Why is it millions throw holiday parties, and rigid corporate employers decide to close a few hours early on Christmas Eve so their employees can get home to their families? Do you think it’s just because of the label of Christmas? I don’t. It’s because of the heightened, exuberant, positive vibration, energizing the globe in the name of Christmas, which causes a wave of wonder to spread worldwide.
This wave gives birth to many wondrous things, one of the best being a collective, giant act of selflessness. How? Through the spirit of Christmas… and Santa Claus, of course.
Santa gets a bad rap for being the mascot of materialism and Chief Elf Officer for commercialism, but take a minute to step back into your childhood. Do you remember how much you loved the jolly old elf; what you were willing to do to be on his nice list; and how you would instantly behave if your parents threatened to tell?
Santa gets a most of the credit, you know, which is the ultimate act of selflessness. Think about it. Many parents, both single and married, scrimp, scrape and save in order to provide their children with a semblance of a merry Christmas. Some take on a second or third job around the holidays in order to not have to choose between paying the electric bill and buying their children gifts. Parents go to extraordinary measures, and who gets all the credit? Santa Claus. This doesn’t matter to parents, because the spirit of Christmas isn’t about whom gets credit; it is about love.
The Bible teaches us that love does not boast, love is not proud and love is not self-seeking, and Christmas puts these words into action. The spirit of Christmas is so incredibly strong, people everywhere allow the power of love to prevail, and that is why, plain and simple, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Hundreds of thousands of people volunteer each year with organizations that help collect toys, food and other holiday essentials all over the world. While it goes on all year, Christmas evokes extra measures of trying to ensure no one is left out. Take Angel Trees for example. They are put up in businesses and churches across the land, hung with names of faceless people and their holiday wish lists. Even those who normally don’t include charity in their annual budget can’t walk by an Angel Tree without wanting to pull a name and make sure his or her Christmas is merry and bright. It’s truly a beautiful, and selfless, act. Gifts are toiled over to make sure the wish list is fulfilled and purchased with love, as if the person is not a stranger. One has to wonder which one is the angel—the giver or the receiver. Then, the gifts are given without either angel knowing the other. The givers never get to see the joy their presents bring, never hear words of thanks or praise, and may wonder if their angel liked it, or if it made a difference. Nonetheless, we still do it because it doesn’t matter if the recipient ever knows who bought it for them, what matters is someone did.
I promise it makes a difference. You make a difference. We all can make a difference. Angel tree gifts make people feel included and experience a moment of unwrapping a gift, a moment filled with wonder, and a moment of feeling safe and loved. If only for a few minutes, these moments made that person’s Christmas because they weren’t forgotten.
It’s not about if the slippers are the ones they wanted, or if the night gown is their favorite color, what matters more than anything in the world, to everyone in the world, is someone cares, and it is that simple gesture that wraps its arms around each of us with the resounding message that we are not alone in this world.
This issue’s theme is #BeTheDifference, and there’s no time like the present to start. I hope the magic of this season fills your heart so full of peace and joy you can’t help but spill it everywhere you go. From deep within my soul, and regardless of your beliefs, I wish you love and the mindfulness to give it and receive it this holiday season.