I've never been into "really" early Christmas Roll-Out. I think it's because I feel the stores sacrifice a monumental Day (11/11) in order to make an extra couple of bucks. It's seems as though the second the clocks strike midnight on November 1, everything Red, Green, and Gold comes crashing through the "lay away"storage doors and onto the shelves. Christmas music is playing and Turtles, Quality Street, Candy Canes, and Pot Of Gold candy line the shelves. The true spirit of Christmas often seems to me, to be "buy more, get bigger, indulge until you're ill..or broke". By the time that pinnacle day comes around, everyone's tired and wishing the pants that fit a month ago would just button up. I think we lose sight of what is important for all the "hoopla" that has taken place the 4 - 6 weeks leading up to the 25th. We forget about the manger, the spirit of peace and thanksgiving, the giving of self rather than the giving of things. Quantity presides over Quality.
Over the past several Christmases, surrounded by family and quality time (and gifts!) I often feel sad by the time my head hits my pillow on Christmas night. It's not that we don't spend lots of time with each other, it's not that we don't unwrap and enjoy each gift, it's not that we don't spend time preparing and eating delicious turkey and the trimmings every year. All that is wonderful. Truly.
I know I am blessed with an incredible family. Parents still together. Husband steadfast in his faith and love for his wife, kids, job. Sister as crazy as ever but living - actually, running out her passion.
Still, there's this piece of me every year that is troubled. It aches for those with nothing. For those who, for Christmas would do almost anything for a warm meal. For those who want nothing but to clothe their children with a warm winter coat. My heart breaks for those who are reminded, on this one day of the year that they are, in the eyes of the material world, poor. It yearns for some sort of law to be enforced that calls us (the wealthy) to, instead of spending 450 million each year on Christmas, take only 4.5% of that...only $10 million...and offer clean water to the entire global population!
This year is different. I have worked this year to make it different:
I need to be the change I want to see in the world.
I want to lay my head down Christmas night and peacefully close my eyes. Knowing that this year was different. This was a season of change. Perhaps...maybe only a little (but a little is better than nothing at all); perhaps I have grown as a person.
So, I post about orphans. I post about different organizations I think are legitimately trying and succeeding in making a different world for humankind. While my voice may not be great, not loud, not far reaching, I know some hear it.
And with that...
- We have put ourselves out there to go where we feel led: Ethiopia.
- We buy livestock for a family somewhere in a Developing Country.
- We set up a donation container in our Office to encourage the staff at work to contribute as a team to buying something from World Vision for a family in need.
- We use a Facilitator in Ontario who is doing nothing, absolutely nothing but good for African Orphans.
- We gift a small amount to a foundation set up to help others we empathize with, to complete their family.
- I am registered to run in a 10km in a couple of weeks in which all I have to do it bring 5 canned items. Why? Why Not. It's only a little but many littles make a lot.
I don't share this for a pat on the back.
My intention isn't to claim bragging rights.
I don't see these as great things.
These are small things we all need to do to make the world better. To eradicate poverty and the millions of orphans worldwide (One by-the-way is one too many.)
What have you done? Really. Share it. If not on this blog then with someone. I think there is a need for some accountability.
It all starts with baby steps.