I celebrated my Christmas in October this year.  This decision was not precipitated by time conflicts with extended family.  Nope.  October just happened to be the right time for me to set up Santa’s workshop on the kitchen table.  The holiday décor was a bit strange as well.  My decorations were bits of lace and trim from the doll outfit after doll outfit that I created on my sewing machine.  These were sprinkled about the room, usually on the floor.  The recipients of these dozen or so dolls would be little girls in third world countries delivered through Operation Christmas Child.

My husband celebrates Christmas differently than I.  He provides work for an acquaintance who is employed part-time by using this individual for landscaping and mowing.  It takes some doing to arrange things, since our needs have to fit around the individual’s job.  Transportation also proves difficult, since our friend’s vehicle is occasionally unreliable. At times my hubby even picks him up.  It might be easier to hire a lawn care company; but my husband cares enough about the needs of this person to go to a little trouble to make the arrangement work.

My mother is on a limited income, but she celebrates Christmas all year round.  Her gifts are showered upon us weekly, as she prays over the needs of her family and friends in her small group.  One day I called her to pick up some soap and washcloths for Operation Christmas Child’s shoebox project while she was at the store.  She later refused to allow me to reimburse her for the expense.  Yes, her Christmas spirit is definitely alive and well.

 As we see the needs of those around us, let us take the time to do what we can.

 “Peace on earth!  Good will to men!” the angels intoned.  The Christmas season invites us to contemplate God’s lavish gift, but let’s not forget to act.  Why restrict its working to one lone month a year? Do we have the will to create peace and foster goodness in ways little and big? As we see the needs of those around us, let us take the time to do what we can...no matter what the month. Then we will have the joy of knowing we have lightened another’s load.  And that may prove more valuable than any gift we open under the tree.