Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HBR - Caring and Sharing for Others by Thumper

This has been a busy time for all of us. I was thinking what can I do for health, beauty and relaxation on Christmas day. As I was looking for something, I stumbled across this story, The Christmas Envelope. Intrigued, I read the story and it touched a part of me that has not too happy this holiday season. I despise the month of December. There I said it and I meant it. I was Ms. Scroogette this season. Why must I show someone I love them with a present one day of the year? If I'm thinking of them throughout the year, why not send a note or a small token then?
Yes, I know I am spreading Bah humbug, please bear with me.
So I found this story. After reading it, I figured out the reason why both hubby and I have been so despondent this season. Usually, since we don't have any children, we love to get several angels from the Salvation Army and get presents for the kids. This year finances did not permit us to do this. Hence, the I really don't feel like celebrating feeling. After reading, the story put into prospective, that this season is not about what am I going to get whom, but what can I give someone I love that would make them truly happy. my husband and I not doing doing a charitable deed contributed to our feeling of unhappiness this holiday season. I also realize just because I was not able to does not mean others didn't. So with a heart filled with hope and a little more cheer than before, from my family to yours I wish you a joy filled day.
Thumper (and hubby too)

The Christmas Envelope
From Sowing Seeds Ministry
It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it-overspending...the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma -- the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else. Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way. Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church, mostly black. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition---one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on. The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope. Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us. May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and the true Christmas spirit this year and always.

No comments: