As we rush around to get the perfect gifts for our loved ones, darting around others in the store, not always apologizing, and sometimes being rude to the clerk, who'd rather the whole season be over with, we're not understanding. I've been raised believing that Jesus was born on Christmas and that's why we celebrate. I won't push my beliefs on you. I still believe that and celebrate that. But no matter if you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or any of the numerous holidays in December (including my birthday on the 31st), I don't want us to loose ourselves in the buying of gifts and spending of money.
Recently, a friend of mine gave me a gift-card for groceries. I work two jobs and sometimes I still struggle to make ends meet. Food usually goes to the end of the list after all the bills and gas for the car. I don't always make the right choices for food because I'm trying to find something quick and easy so I can rush to my next job. I felt so loved when she did this for me and grateful.
I went to the grocery store to buy groceries, excited that I could actually buy more than bread and milk to last the week until the next paycheck. It wasn't much, but it made me very happy. I picked out healthy foods and filled the shopping basket. I went up to the line and stepped behind an elderly man, who was talking to the cashier, patting his pockets and looking a bit frazzled. He couldn't find his wallet and he figured he left it at home. I could see his bill was greater than the gift-card in my hand. The cashier bagged his things and pushed them to the front so he could come back. The woman rang up my items. I couldn't. Instead, I pulled out my debit card and paid for my groceries.
Before leaving the store, I went up to the manager who'd taken the man's cart and told her I had a weird request. I wanted the man who forgot his wallet to have my gift-card. She pursed her lips, busy and confused saying that he'd left. I kindly told her that I wanted him to have it when he came back, so he could use it. She nodded and tucked it into her pocket, saying she would.
I could have used the gift-card and thought nothing of it. But I couldn't. That man needed it more than I did. I wanted to give him a gift, even if he'll never thank me and I'll probably never see him again. I just wanted to show him the kindness that someone showed me and give it to him.
That's what I want really want for Christmas this year. I want others to show people kindness. Strangers or friends, to love them and some times be spontaneously kind. Yes, I'd love to find a literary agent before Christmas or to meet the guy of my dreams or to be able to have time to read a book every day, but those are dreams that can wait. I want people to remember that Christmas is a time to tell others that we love them and to spend time together, laughing and making memories.
What I really want for Christmas is for people to be kind and love.