Ok, I know I really need to post. Things have been so crazy around here lately. Not bad, really, just crazy. We did have a couple weeks of colds and yuckiness going around, but other than my cough we're all pretty much better.
I've GOT to get started on my Christmas shopping. I've done just a tiny bit, but I still have so much to do. I love this time of year. I love that there is Christmas music playing everywhere, that people seem to be more kind, and that my home is filled with a little more love and joy.
This year I'm slowing things down around here. We are going to take the time to remember why we celebrate Christmas. I want our children to see this time of year as a reminder to be a little more Christ-like. To serve others, and to be mindful of the needs of those around us.
The Salvation Army bell ringers are out in abundance, and today I had the opportunity to sit outside of Macy's in my mom's car, watching, as I waited for her to come out. I saw the fairly young, pretty Hispanic girl ringing the bell in the cold. I watched so many obviously well-off people come and go through those doors without even acknowledging that she was there. No smile, not "Merry Christmas", nothing. I saw others pause, say hello, and continue on their way. And I saw a few stop and drop some change into the red bucket. Each time, this young lady would smile and say "Merry Christmas", or "Thank you, have a great day" or something. Most people, even those who dropped some change in the bucket, smiled or said "you, too" and hurried on their way. Once they were gone she would go back to blowing on her hands to warm them while continuing to ring the bell with the other. I sat in mom's car, warm from the heater running, and decided that I'm going to try to put at least a little change in every red bucket I pass, and when I do, I'm going to take just a moment to look that bell ringer in the eye and wish them a sincere Merry Christmas. I want my kids to find joy in giving, and to never see it as a burden. I want them to see that I don't give out of guilt, but because those bell ringers represent something much bigger. That each of those buckets and bell ringers are a chance for me to become a little more like my Savior. To show that I care. To give what I have. And to smile about it.
And I want to show them that it's the spirit of giving that is the spirit of Christmas.