To my young mind, there was no doubt about it. Christmas was all about getting — as much as I could. A funny thing happened, that toy that looked like so much fun on the commercial… well , you know…
Something happened in the intervening years. I discovered the joy of giving. Disneyland was fun because it was fun to see my kids have fun. I gave even my life to the mission field — 16 years in Guatemala.
I just sent down a bunch of shoes. Poverty is such that shoes are among the hardest thing to come by for the natives (who work in our school and get paid a pittance because it is semi-self-supporting). My daughter is expert at firing through size, sex and price so that it didn’t become an hours-long ordeal.
Giving is more satisfying that getting. Try it this year. Instead of begrudging the lack of Christmas presents, volunteer at a food distribution center. We helped One Voice in Santa Monica prepare food baskets.
I just got off the phone with Pastor Ludving in Guatemala. His daughter, Jenny, has some problem with her eyes, but he stopped treating it with the doctor because of lack of money. All donations in December and January through my Donate option (PayPal) will go to her.