Friday, December 18, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

So here it is, my first ever Christmas post.  As you all know I am a Christian so the true meaning of Christmas in my life is quite obvious, but that is not what I decided to write about today.

Every year I am troubled by all the commercial aspects of Christmas.  On black Friday there are always stories of fights over a special toy or a place in line.  Some people have even lost their lives in stampedes when the stores open.  How can this happen at such a special time of year?

I know so many families that insist on buying presents for every living family member.  Some people spend more at Christmas than the GDP of Australia.  How can this be wrong because Christmas is about giving, right? I don't think these people do it for the true joy of giving. It seems like the pressure to give better and better presents is put on people by family members or society.  You must give as much as Aunt Susie or you will be ostracized from the family. In short too many people must have presents, and we don't want to disappoint them.

When such a wonderful holiday is completely driven by greed then something is wrong.  The greatest gift to give this time of year is love.  Spending time with family and friends and sharing that love is much greater and certainly more lasting than a PS3.  One day something will come along that will make your video game or other gadgets obsolete, but nothing can ever replace the love you give and receive.

I am certainly not down on giving gifts.  Giving just has to come from the right place. You must give for the sake of giving not as part of a social contract that allows you to get gifts in return.

I want to share a story that happened to our family a week or so ago.  Arica, Braden, and I were standing in line at Walmart.  A guy behind us started talking to Braden about Santa.  We told him of our failed attempt to take Braden to see Santa, and exchanged other pleasantries.

As I was checking out the man behind me said, "Will you do me a favor?"

I turned around to see him extending his hand with a folded $20 bill in it.

"Put something under the tree for him from a stranger. That way he will know that Santa came."

I was speechless.  My mind could in no way grasp what just happened.  I tried to gather myself and muttered thank you very much and Merry Christmas. I probably should have refused the money, but I was so stunned that I couldn't function.

Now THAT is the Christmas spirit.  THAT is the true spirit of giving.  I will remember that nice man for the rest of my life.  Can you imagine how wonderful Christmas would be if everyone had that kind of generosity in their heart? I hope you all experience that type of love this year.

Merry Christmas!
Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

17 comments:

Floy-Dean said...

Thanks for sharing that wonderful story.

You were right to accept the money. Someone told me years ago, you must not only be a cheerful giver but a cheerful receiver. You made that nice man's Christmas whether you want to believe that or not!

God Bless ->Numbers 6:24-26.
PS I love your blog. I blog on Empty Nest->been there done that and I'm so glad someone else is not there yet. KEEP BLOGGING. You dad's rock!

WeaselMomma said...

Merry Christmas!
What a beautiful story and you celebrate the true meaning of Christmas in a beautiful way.

Brian Miller said...

what a cool story...that is the giving that christmas is all about. i hope you and yours have a great christmas!

seashore subjects said...

What a wonderful story!

To quote a childhood favorite:
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."

"Maybe Christmas..perhaps..means a little bit more."

Brandy said...

what a wonderful story for the season!

Rob said...

That is a awesome story for Christmas.

Have a Happy Holiday.

BellaDaddy said...

Loved this...thanks for sharing...and as Bella would say (this year) Happy Easter

Manic Mommy said...

That was just lovely! What a kind, wonderful person! And I'm glad you didn't refuse. Clearly he wanted to do it and to refuse his gift would have refused him the joy of doing something so nice.

Yes, that's the right spirit.

john cave osborne said...

EXCELLENT. i have an 8yo stepdaughter. she spends 9 out of 14 days with us and 5 with her dad. her dad gives her a TON of stuff. so does her grandmom. (MIL) i'm talking a ton. like not normal. several expensive gifts.
we don't do that. she thinks we don't love her as much and prefers the splashiness of her real dad or grandmom to our conservative approach. we tell her all the time "we don't spend money on you to tell you how much we love you. we spend time."
we hope and pray that one day she'll figure it all out.
really liked this. i, too, am a Christian, and i, too, get saddened by what the day has become.
maybe families like yours and mine can get it back a little at a time.
Merry Christmas, brother.

john cave osborne said...

oh, and one more thing...you were totally right in accepting that money. one who gives and expects nothing in return is truly at the heart of the Spirit. can't believe i didn't get that out in my last rambling comment.

Katherine said...

Wow! Goosebumps. That's amazing. It's so good to know that there are still people out there that understand what Christmas is supposed to be about.

I can tell you this...nothing, no toy, no technological gadget, nothing is worth getting beat up over. People get crazy this time of year.

Daddy Files said...

Now THAT'S a Christmas story for the ages. Perfect example of what it should be.

Good post.

otin said...

Maybe the bad economy is one of the best things that happened to Christmas. It will force people to concentrate on things besides gifts.

KWG said...

Amen, brother. Merry Christmas.

rxBambi said...

wow what a great story! Thanks so much for sharing. Very heartwarming indeed.

PJ Mullen said...

That is the true meaning of giving. We like to do the Angel Tree through the Salvation Army because it is so much more fun to give to people that need it the most. We are fortunate to be able to afford the things we need and because of that limit the gifts we give each other. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Christmas is a great time of year. I love seeing people with the spirit! Thanks for spreading the joy!

Here’s a recent article I particularly enjoyed on Christmas joy: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/merry-christmas/

I’d love to see more. Thanks!

-Mike