This post has nothing to do with food, but it is a post about Christmas. It is a thank you to my parents who taught me the true meaning of giving.
The Year My Parents Taught Me The True Meaning Of Giving
Growing up we never had a lot for Christmas. There just wasn’t the money to do much. We usually had a few gifts, but they were mainly clothes or other things we needed. We had what was important though and that was each other. We had a roof over our head and food on our table. We did not have extra, but we had enough.
One particular year though was pretty rough. My dad had been out of work, and there was not much. We knew that Christmas things would be pretty sparse. But there were a lot of other people in the small town I grew up in that were in the same situation. No one had much extra. People did not choose to be frugal; they had to be to survive.
I grew up in a small logging town. It was the type of town where everyone knew everyone. When there was a need people turned out to help. This particular year was no different. My family attended a small church in town. We all knew each other well. One of the couples in the church was childless. The Lord had yet to bless them with children. They had been trying desperately to adopt a child. That year they had an opportunity, but like most adoption there were costs. They simply did not have the money they needed to adopt a child.
The church family saw the need. They decided to take a special offering to help this family raise the money they needed. Even though many families had little, especially since it was the holidays, everyone tried to give something.
My parents had managed to set aside a small amount of money for our Christmas gifts that year. I don’t know the specific amount, but I know it was probably not much. My parents gathered us together for a talk. They told us that money was really tight, but that they had managed to save a little for Christmas. They also told us that they really wanted to give this couple some money towards their adoption, but there was no extra to give. By the end of the family meeting, we had decided to give up our Christmas gifts in order to give to this family. We would not have any gifts. We would give everything my parents had saved to help this family out. This was not an easy decision for us kids to accept, but we knew it was the right thing to do.
I still remember that Christmas. It was the year I learned about the true meaning of giving. If someone asked me the Christmas I remember most, it would be this one. It was not the one I got the most presents. It was not the one that I received everything I wanted. No, the Christmas I remember and cherish most was the year my parents taught me what Christmas and church family are all about. I remember the year my family sacrificed what little we had to help a family in need. We, along with others, helped give this family a joy that went beyond that Christmas.
Christmas is not about presents and lots of stuff. That is not what Christmas should be about. Too often in our generation this is what Christmas has become. It is a celebration of greed and worldly possessions. Instead of looking at what we need and want, we need to look around at what others need.
I think many now have the tendency to be too frugal in areas like this. Yes, we needed things that Christmas. None of us had much, but someone else had a greater need. No matter how bad you have it, if you look around you will surely find many who need more than you.
My parents taught me a lot, especially this particular Christmas. They taught me that there is always someone worse off than you are. There is always a need bigger than yours. If you look around you can help, even in a small way. My parents taught me the true meaning of Christmas.
My children have far more than they need. They have more than I ever dreamed they would have. The Lord has greatly blessed me and my family. My hope though is that this year and each year, I can instill in my children at least a small part of what my parents taught me.