How quickly time travels. As I look at my calendar I realize it is that time of the
month year again; I am beginning to feel bloated the holiday spirit.
Our neighbors (on both sides) finished decorating the outside of their houses Thanksgiving weekend. If you are familiar with the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, then you are familiar with the Griswold family. For those of you familiar with the Griswolds, we live next door to the family – on both sides.
Truthfully, we love the neighbors’ tacky Christmas lights. However, once our Griswold neighbors decorate their houses, our boys begin to pressure me and Rob to get our house decorated. Pressure during the holidays?! Never!
Yesterday, we started the process of decorating the inside of the house. This morning, the boys were bickering beside the advent calendar, both wanting to place Mary where she belongs on the 1st of December and both wanting to place baby Jesus where he belongs on the 25th of December.
“Charlie, I get Mary and Baby Jesus, and I’ll let you do two days in a row.”
“But Joe, I want to do Baby Jesus.”
“Okay, I’ll write down two numbers and we’ll put it in a box. I’ll pick the number out of the box, and if I pick the 15, then I get to put Baby Jesus on.”
After four drawings … “That’s not fair, Joe! You were always looking for 15 when you picked it.”
“No I wasn’t.”
“Guys,” I say, as I intervene. “One of you gets the first day and one of you gets the last day. Whoever does the first day, the other person will do the last day.”
“Okay, Charlie. You can have Baby Jesus.”
Between now and Christmas, you will read many posts about the holidays. Some will share reasons why they love the holidays, while others will share reasons why they do not like the holidays. Some will write how their lack of faith leaves them feeling slighted by the dominance of Christianity, while others will proclaim their Christianity loudly this month and put it back in the closet with the new year.
I’m not sure how you feel about the holidays, I simply hope you will think about helping others. Non-profit organizations and charities throughout the world need help all year long. But, just like retail organizations rely on Black Friday to keep the numbers in the black, non-profit and charitable organizations rely on the holidays to ensure they can continue to fill the needs of others.
21 years ago, Georgia radio personality Clark Howard organized ‘Clark Howard’s Christmas Kids‘. He took it upon himself (and his listeners) to help children living in the foster community receive gifts. This Friday, for the first time, I am going to take my boys to see Clark Howard in action. The boys and I are going to go through the book of children’s names and wishes. We will walk through the store and buy something for one of the children in foster care. I am going to show my boys the true meaning of giving – the true meaning of Santa – the true meaning of doing for others.
By the way, if you access the above mentioned website, you can participate in buying gifts for the children, too. One more thing regarding Clark’s Christmas Kids, because I do think it adds to the story, Clark Howard is a devout Jewish man. This is not about a particular religion – this is about giving and filling a need where the need literally exists.
Regardless of your faith (or lack thereof), I am sure you give gifts to your friends and loved ones. If you find yourself in the need of a gift, I would like you to consider buying your items from organizations that give back.
“Designs by Heart” is a place you can go to get and give back. Designs by Heart offers a variety of items for sale, while donating a portion of every sale to a charitable organization. Recently, I purchased a lovely bracelet for myself. I love it, and I love knowing an organization received a donation from my purchase. A direct link to their store is here: Designs by Heart Store.
Do you use a calendar? Have you purchased your calendar for 2012 yet?
I have a friend whose oldest son had a heart transplant as a newborn. Now, her son is a healthy 7yr old, and he is friends with my son, Joe. Joe’s friend is famous, too, because he is part of the 2012 Heart Friends Beads of Courage calendar. As stated on the website, “proceeds from the sale of this calendar will directly benefit The Beads of Courage® Cardiac Program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Sibley Heart Center. Included in this calendar are stories of hope and healing and photos of patients displaying their courageous stories thru their Beads of Courage® Collections.”
Go snag a 2012 calendar … maybe I can get Xander to autograph it for you!
Don’t have money to spare? Then please consider accessing the website, “Share with Childrens“, and send a message to the children staying at Children’s Hospital during this holiday season. Messages received by December 15th will be delivered to the children during the last two weeks of the year, via closed-circuit televisions throughout the hospital.
Tied to the “Share with Children” campaign, Verizon Foundation is donating $1 to Children’s for every “view” of our video up to $25,000. So, please take a moment to watch the video, and share the video with all your friends and family. Making a difference is easy.
Thank you for your time. If you know of other organizations that give back, please leave a comment and a link. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have Christmas lights to hang. Silly Griswold neighbors…
Please consider donating to charitable organizations this holiday season and year-round. Thank you!