blue and green. red and white. flasbing lights and tinsel. it's christmas time. when i had a normal life christmas was fun. i did the things everyone does. i made a list of people i wanted to buy presents for. it always was alot bigger than my budget. i pondered over what to get my family members, especially my wife. i always bought some things for my kids that i knew santa <my wife> wouldn't get them but i thought they would enjoy. sometimes it went well...sometimes not so much. but it was fun. it was that special time of year. i always waited until the night before christmas eve, when alot of the stores were open all night to do some last minute shopping. i don't suppose you could call it last minute if it was planned that way. but i enjoyed going to the mall, to target, to walmart and various other stores and taking my time and walking around picking things out...or just enjoying being around the bustle.
this year i was dreading christmas alittle. i have very little money. by the end of the week i'll probaly have none. i have avoided going to the mall because it reminds me i have no money. i have no relatives or family to spend christmas with. the traditional christmas eve presents opening won't happen this year. there will be no christmas dinner and it's a wonderful life this year. sounds depressing. i was. but then as happens alot of times something happened to change my mood and my spirit somewhat. i went to a small christmas party one of the resource centers i visit had today. there was a small group of homeless people there. some presents were handed out to everyone. they were wrapped in bright paper and each had a tag on it with merry christmas or we love you written on it. i really didn't want to take one because i figured it would contain the fruitcake gift of the homeless world. the fruitcake gift are gloves, a knit hat and a pair of thin white socks. for some reason this has become the gift everyone thinks the homeless will be able to use. well....that's true. except everyone does it. but....i took a package out of courtesy. i opened it and yep...hats, gloves and a pair of socks. but the socks....they weren't white. they were black. and they weren't thin. they were very thick with very good toes and heels. they were not fruitcake socks. now this starting me to think about a couple of things. the first one bothered me. i was being ungrateful. i am homeless. i am poor. and i was silently dreading the fruitcake socks. that bothered me. the second thing i was thinking about explained why i felt bothered by that. someone had went to some effort to pick those socks out. someone had given their time and money to buy those socks for a stranger. someone had given something to me for no reason other than they wanted to. someone had thought of me at christmas with no ulterior motive. someone i don't even know thought of me at christmas. well..not me personally...but me collectively. i put the package down and i looked around. then it hit me. this is my christmas party. this is my shopping at the mall. this is my midnite stroll thru target. this is my christmas dinner and a movie.
everything that christmas embodies was right in that room. joy...peace...love for your fellow man...tidings of good cheer. it was all right there. as small as it seemed and as trivial as it might seem to you....christmas came alive for me. jesus was born on christmas. that's why it is celebrated. all his teachings and all alot of what he stands for was in that room. helping the poor. loving your neighbor. charity. giving. sharing. it was there.
so this year i think i've had one of the best christmas parties i've ever had. the meaning of christmas was given back to me. want to throw a party? merry christmas
see you around town