Get into the Christmas spirit of giving
by ALLISON CRYER
As a child, can you imagine waking up on Christmas morning, only to find that Santa skipped your house because your family couldn’t afford to buy towers of presents to stack up around the tree this year?
Many of us cannot imagine this because every year, since birth, we have had the luxury of spending the holidays with our loved ones, receiving gifts and picking out the perfect Christmas presents to give to friends and relatives. We complain about long shopping lines and over-played Christmas music in every retail establishment, all while many families will never know the luxury of having such stresses.
This week, two local organizations made Christmas a little brighter for several families in need in Jeff Davis.
On Monday, the Jennings Police Department took one family on a $1,000 shopping spree as part of their “Shop with Cops” program. JPD Police Chief Todd D’Albor said he is proud that his department could give back to children in the community, who may not otherwise have a Christmas.
“We want to brighten children’s lives with a great Christmas,” D’Albor said. “We worked with child services, who then referred this family of children who have being going through a tough time.”
Also, the Jennings Lions Club took four students on a shopping spree from the Jennings area as part of their annual “Lions Christmas Child” project. Lions Club Treasurer Sandra Guidry said each year the club takes students, selected by their school, on a shopping spree for school clothes and an even a few extras.
There are also many other civic clubs and Christmas programs like these such as “Toys for Tots” that assist families who many not be able to afford to buy presents this year.
It is programs such as these that truly exemplify the Christmas spirit. Without such projects, at least seven children would not have had a Christmas at all. And it is not about just giving the children presents, but showing them that there is good in the world by providing them with the experience of waking up on Christmas morning and finding presents under the tree.
Giving back to the community can be gift in itself. These types of programs renew my faith in humanity. Sometimes we may take for granted that many families do not have the funds to buy their children presents at all, or even cook a traditional holiday meal.
This year, take the time to take in the true Christmas spirit of giving. Maybe there is a family in your neighborhood who could use a little help making the holidays special for their family this year.
And remember, what is important is not what’s under the tree, but who gathers around that tree. Appreciate the time you have with your family – not only how many gifts you wracked up from Old St. Nick. Because the magic of Christmas is not about the gifts, but about celebrating the birth of Jesus and all that he stood for, including love, compassion and generosity – helping those who are in need.
I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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