Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Year Without A Santa Clause

Did you know that we don't do Santa Clause around here? It's something I kind of decided that first Christmas with Katie 2 years ago. Brad probably thinks i'm crazy. Most people think i'm crazy.
But why?
Why is Santa Clause so important?
Some say it's because he IS the spirit of Christmas and that he teaches our children about giving.
Doesn't Christ do the SAME thing? And Christ is actually REAL! He is the true reason for the season and I chose to make Him the focus of our Christmas celebrations each year.
I don't knock anyone else for doing Santa Clause, of course. Different strokes for different folks. :)
In light of the Christmas season, i've truly been making an effort to be more giving and Christlike. To put him at the center. I've just returned from Salt Lake City, where I dropped off an enormous bag of donations to a needy family. The father is out of work, the mother is sick, one of their children has down syndrome, and they speak very little English. I decided last month to sponsor this family for Christmas. My original plan was to have people at Brad's work pitch in, but none of them seemed really interested, sadly. So it was me. Alone. I went black friday shopping a few weeks ago, not for myself or my own family, but to buy blankets, pillows, towels, and pajamas for this sweet family. I gathered up toiletries from my couponing stockpile, and I drove it all up to Salt Lake this afternoon. I will tell you right now, nothing feels better than serving others. THIS is what Christmas should feel like. Not stressed about travel and decorations and getting the right gifts and watching your bank account deplete.
So what if our children won't be getting all the latest toys and gizmos? There is a family out there who will be a little warmer this Christmas. Who can feel a little less worried about their family.
Later today, a woman is stopping by my house to pick up more donations from me. I LOVE that I have been able to coupon and build up a supply of extra things. There is a sweet family here in West Jordan who's home burned down and they were left with nothing. While it's a little harder for me to donate clothes or furniture, this family will have their weight in shampoo, conditioner, cleaning products, toothpaste and soap this Christmas!

I don't want this post to be braggy. I don't feel prideful. I just feel happy. And I want YOU to feel happy. PLEASE, find one family or person that YOU can help this Christmas. The economy is though. I know. But you have a roof over your head. Food on your table. You might even already have presents under the tree. Not everyone is so lucky.

If you aren't sure how you can help, here are some simple ideas.
- Gather up gently used clothes that you never wear anymore. Drive to your local church, or ANY church for that matter. Tell them you have some clothes that you would like to go to a family in need. I guarantee they will know someone who can use them.
- Find an old coat that you never wear, or buy one from goodwill. Hand it to someone who is homeless.
- You can even grab that extra box of crackers in your pantry and hand it to someone holding a sign on the side of the road.
- Search Facebook! I am part of a group called "West Jordan Angels." People can nominate needy families in their area and other people can donate to that family.
- Buy a few cans of corn at the grocery store. Immediately drop them off in the Food Bank bins.
- Next time you hear a story on the news about a family who is experiencing a tragedy, and that they have a fund set up at a local bank or grocery store, actually donate to that fund!
- Drop your extra change in the little box at McDonald's for the Ronald McDonald House.
- Smile at those less fortunate. Wish them a Merry Christmas. Include them in your prayers. 

Unlike the stories, Santa Clause does not visit every house. He does not give toys to every child, rich or poor. WE can fill in the gaps.

Now go out there and do some good this Holiday season!

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