Don’t just wish people a Merry Christmas: Give It, Live It.

“If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? (James 2:15, 16 HCSB)”

Talk. Talk.Talk. Lots of it. Talk of the season. Talk of family. Talk of good wishes. Well crafted status updates and witty tweets. Enough!

Let's stop tweeting and talking and HELP PEOPLE.

Well, I can't help everyone?

No, my friend, you can't. And neither can I. But you can help someone.

Last Christmas, I asked you to tweet, share and speak out about human trafficking. Destiny Rescue is a good organization and I like what they are doing, my students who are passionate about human trafficking got me on to what they are doing and you can support them and order their jewelry. That is just one way to act. Buy gifts that help organizations and people who need it.

But there is more.

The Grieving.
There are people who you know of right now who are having a hard time. It might be the recent widow who has just lost her husband or even a person who has recently had a break up in his/her love life. They're lonely and grieving amidst the laughter. Invite this person over. Include him or her in some of your celebrations.

The Quiet.
There are the introverts. They aren't “snobby” or “aloof” they just watch rather than join in sometimes. Invite this person to your party – include them. Be there and let them be part.

The Hungry.
There are the hungry. They are always with us. Collect and give good food to your local food or homeless shelter. Not just the leftover cans that you haven't eaten all year or the clothes you've never worn – give something GOOD. Go into the grocery store and shop specifically for the hungry – find some good food that you LIKE – not just beets and collard greens but something you would RELISH and give it away.

The Handicapped.
There are the mentally and physically challenged. These are often angels among us. Take time to help in their Christmas pageant or their christmas party. Be a dj for a dance for them. Bring them food.

The Aging and Lonely.
There are the aging and lonely. From soft socks to happy tray cards that sit on their dinner trays, to a visit singing carols — bE THERE. GO THERE. DO IT. One day it may be you in that nursing home and you'll be so happy if there are still unselfish people out there who go and visit. If you can sing or play the piano or have a band, set an appointment and get on their calendar and go sing your heart out. Be there. Host a wii bowling party or set up a projector and have a screening of an old movie that they'll love but BE THERE.

Children in poverty.
Christmas isn't just for the young – but there are those young children of those in poverty who would appreciate attention and love this Christmas. There are those children whose parents drink or snort up every dime that could have gone to put food on the table or presents under the tree. Support organizations like Toys for Tots and the Boys and Girls Club and give to organizations that give directly to the children of those who are struggling. Don't think that this is to say that all children in poverty aren't well cared for, I'd never say that. But, I think as educators, we've all seen sorry parents of one sort or another – it isn't our place to judge – but we can love children.

Children in pain.
Take time to love on those children who have had a rough time of it – they've lost parents to death or the discipline of society. They are mourning the loss of a marriage or grandparents. They hurt and need love. Do things to bring a smile to their face.Show them you love them.

This is a crazy busy time of year and it is so easy to be self-centered and my-own-family focused. Take time to reach out.

This post came to me as I pondered my son's football helmet. He has to take it back this week. It has a paw for every tackle or pancake or block – the things that he did that were great for his state runner-up football team. He worked so hard for each one. As I caress the paws I know that this is temporary – as much as each paw represents his sweat and sometimes his tears, they are temporary. Next week, the helmets will be sent off to be reconditioned. They will scrape off the paws and repaint it and put someone else's number on the helmet. It will start over and be blank for whatever freshman or senior needs a helmet for that big old hard head of theirs.

Same with us. The awards that mean so much today will become something that is just gone tomorrow. I'm sure one day the people at Google will scrape any awards off the side of this blog and relegate the data that represents these words to some old DVD because my death will cause this blog to become inactive.

The things that will be left behind will be those I've touched and the words that have inspired others. The spiritual things that some have sought because (hopefully) they have seen the inner workings of a person (hopefully me) who loves Jesus Christ with all her heart and does her best to show the separation of church and hate to a world who has forgotten what being a Christian means.

You are a reader of this blog, and I'm so grateful that you've made it this far. So, I hope right now, if you're still reading, that no matter your faith or belief, that you will time time NOW to plan to give the present of your presence to someone – some group – some people who need it.

Last week, Pastor Michael Catt at my church, Sherwood Baptist, upon his anniversary of 23 years as our pastor, said,

“Walk slowly through the crowd. Everyone in it is hurting.”

Notice others.
This is true. Don't ever think that a laugh and baubley earrings and an obnoxious seasonal sweater make you think that anyone is perfectly happy with everything just perfect. We do not know the troubles and trials that others bear, but I do know that our lives are better when we think of others first.

So, my wish for you and me this Christmas is that we stop wishing people a Merry Christmas and start giving it to them through our actions.

I serve you a Merry Christmas.
I love you a Merry Christmas.
I give you a Merry Christmas… and most of all
I live a Merry Christmas — may I be the kind of person whose presence is a present.

– Written on my iPad using Blog Press by Vicki Davis, author, Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds

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