Tis the season to be jolly says the carolers, the advertisers and the holiday goers who adore the spirit of camaraderie and giddiness throughout the land. With so many celebrating customs that have kept them throughout the year and families focusing on gift giving with the fellowship opportunities between "Framily" who aren't afforded the chance to see each other as frequently as they like, it's also a time of intense pressure. Regardless of how many people who attempt drawing the focus away from the material things, the pressure to share something wonderful still remains huge.
Yet, how many are living in the street. More over, how many are living in shelters, friend's homes, piled up in unspeakable conditions simply trying to get by 59,568 people sleep in NYC shelters nightly. Still with that fact alone many are still attempting to purchase what they can't afford to impress people who don't like them. The concept is nice to feed, raise funds and collect toys to distribute to these locations but what happens when you leave? When parents feel inadequate for their inability to provide a smile inducing gift for their own children. What happens to the lovers who rather cause more pain unto each other because the pain of not being able to bring joy is destroying them? These are the moments when compassion is needed most. This is the space where a helping hand outweighs a handout.
Biblical directives indicate how God loves a cheerful giver. Though the scripture 2Co. 9:7 speaks of an offering to God, it's still a model to follow. Be Merry in giving gifts, time and attention to any and everyone you've decided to bestow a blessing upon. Give more out of a heart longing to do better instead of giving as a good gesture. This also applies to those of us fortunate to have a home, to have family, to have friends and/or even an organization where you can go and the doors swing open at your presence. Generate a welcoming spirit to people you meet; this is the Christmas miracle people long for. Don't use these moments as a time to hash out differences, it's messy and not merry! Don't use these moments to gossip when you can go sip on some eggnog and create wonderful memories.
In all religions, we are allotted moments to come together, connect and communicate in love and peace. Just as you would spend your funds wisely, spend these opportunities to gather wisely. I've seen the curve of a smile change many things other curves could not. Decide to be a message of merriment, joy, unity and faith by sidestepping the nonsense and walk into your niceness