This is an editorial that appeared in Wednesday's Star. Feel free to add items to the list or to tell about how you "check off" one of the items on this list.
As the Christmas season cranks up, Santa is busy working on that infamous list. Mr. Claus’ string of “to dos” involves children’s behavior and their requests for toys.
But, with just under four weeks until Christmas, we offer you our own list of suggested Christmas activities.
Feel free to cut this out and check off the things that you do and then, if you wish, share with us your experiences. You can do that at Editor Skip Foster’s blog at sfoster.blogstar.com where he will have a post on this editorial.
Now, on to the list!
Adopt a Salvation Army Angel
We’ve all heard the claims of non-profits that “90 percent” of what is donated goes to the people in need. With Angel tree adoptions, however, you know that the entire gift goes to a needy child.
We can’t think of a more direct way to positively impact a child’s life than this.
When’s the last time you did this? Many churches have caroling at avnursing home or other facility. Much like a shiny toy can brighten up a child’s day, a heartfelt carol can send the spirits of a homebound senior citizen soaring.
Read the Nativity
For all the talk about the “reason for the season,” when is the last time you sat down, by yourself or as a family, and actually read the Gospel account of Jesus’ birth. Make it a Christmas Eve event or part of the season on some other day. You won’t regret it.
Go to a different church
We can’t remember a place in Scripture where Jesus refers to denominations. What a great time to enjoy the traditions of a different style or form of worship. Some denominations call this time of year Advent, a season of expectation and hope. The current movement in our community to bring people of different faiths, cultures and races together surely brings a smile to God’s face. Even if it’s simply going to another church’s cantata, find a time to experience this holy season in a new way.
Don’t you get tired of buying those same $10 gifts for an endless list of co-workers, teachers, pseudo-neighbors and the like? Why not consolidate that buying power into providing something truly valuable, such as a part of a meal at the homeless shelter or clothing for a church closet. We don’t want to suggest you do anything that would hurt the economy like simply hoarding what you own, but instead, send a form note to all those folks who get “trinkets” for Christmas and tell them you made a donation in their name to a worthy cause.
Almost everybody has a damaged relationship. What better time to swallow hard and make amends. Maybe you’re still hurt, but if forgiveness were easy, it wouldn’t be so important. Reconciliation might be the best gift you give or receive this Christmas.
Exercise three times a week
Huh? Why exercise? It’s cold, it’s dark, and it’s so busy! We say, find a way. There is no getting around the stress of this season. Taking time to keep your body in shape will be another gift to yourself and those with whom you interact.
Seems silly to say in what is supposed to be the season of joy. Yet, so often, going to get the Christmas tree or having a holiday party turns into work, not fun. Relax and enjoy the season!
You’ll notice that these items have boxes beside them. Hopefully you will be able to check off all of them. If so, we promise that your Christmas season will be brighter than ever.