Merry Christmas! What are your plans for celebrating the holiday? Presents yet to buy? Gathering with family? Big dinner to plan? Perhaps doing some traveling? I hope you have a fun and safe time with your friends and family.
I wish everyone’s Christmas was a happy one, but I’m afraid that’s not always the case. Holidays like Christmas can be fraught with sadness for a variety of reasons, and my hope is that we are all on the alert for those who are hurting. I’m thinking about those who are dealing with the first Christmas after the passing of a loved one. Do you know someone going through this? A visit, or a card with a kind message of caring might help to bear the burden of grief.
For others, Christmas is challenging because of the lack of finances. We have such an expectation of gift giving in our culture that if Christmas rolls around and there isn’t enough money for presents for the kids, it can be excruciatingly painfully for the parents. If you suspect that might be the case for someone, come alongside in a quiet, tactful way and help. Or if you don’t personally know anyone who is struggling, give a toy or two to the Salvation Army or any other community organization distributing toys.
Even more desperate are those who don’t have a home. Unexpected job loss, family break-up, substance abuse, mental health issues, and domestic violence are just a few of the many reasons people end up on the street. And it’s not just adults…families with children are homeless right now here in eastern Iowa. Perhaps a donation to your local homeless shelter and/or food bank could be a way you could help those who are without a home for Christmas.
If you really want to keep Christ in Christmas, do what he would do…help the lonely and the hurting in your community. I wish you a peaceful and holy Christmas this year. Joy to the World, the Lord has Come!
Yours in Christ,