Living Christmas
By Dorie Stanton

What is it that we see in the eyes of children on Christmas morning. Joy! That wonderful bewilderment of surprise and delight at seeing the gifts left behind. The eyes of a child so filled with amazement at how Santa came through the chimney to leave his gifts for them. How did he do it? How did he come down that chimney without a trace? This big hulk of a man dressed in red carried about by reindeer. In their simplicity they do not see the reality of what Christmas truly means but we can teach them about Christ's Christmas gift to them. The Gift of His life. The impossible, a child born to an Immaculate Mother chosen by God to give life to His son, to bring into this world the way to salvation, what a gift. Tiny Tim in a Christmas Carol was a child who was so gentle, so giving, so loved, a child with eyes wide open to the love around him even in his suffering. A child giving his love at every moment of his life to all those around him. A lesson to be learned. How similar they are this Christ, our Savior and this little boy who simply loved.

The gift of Christmas IS life and love, a present to all generations, a gift shared throughout our lives as we plod along in life and faith. A gift from one heart, God, Our Father's to His children. A gift passed on to those around us, but do we pass it on in the daily routine of our lives? At Christmas time we go out of our way in our quest for just the right thing to show our love to those who receive it. We go to great lengths ever searching, ever looking until we find it in whatever corner, that perfect gift. Tiny Tim a poor handicapped little boy from a large happy family who struggled to survive gave the only gift he had to give, the gift of love. He never passed anyone by without his love to share in a smile, a word, a handshake. He would share his meager scraps with someone hungry just because it was good.

At this time of year I am reminded over and over again of those who are less fortunate then myself, those who struggle with prejudice, poverty, grief, sorrow and life. On reflecting on this little boy I ask myself do I share my love the way he does? Do I go about life seeing the hurt and sadness and joy around me? Do I come to the aide of those who share this life but not my own who are in need? Do I welcome strangers with the same heart as I do those familiar, or do I see only the differences that separate us in our struggles and joys of life? Do I help the needy, do I give food when I have it or hoard it for myself? Do I comfort a crying child with my arms and not my heart? Do I even know my neighbors and community or could I care less about their lives?

It seems to me that Christmas should be everyday in the living of our lives. Loving, sharing the good things and bad times. Grieving, crying, consoling those who hurt. Offering comfort, encouragement and friendship to those we do not yet know and giving to those we do. The Spirit of Christmas, the Spirit of Christ's love, what a world it would be if we could remember and live it every day throughout the year.

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