I hope that your Christmas Day was filled with love and laughter this year. As we spent time with family in the last few days, we experienced a sense of wonder as we watched the little children rip open their gifts and see what treasures they held. Happiness comes so easily to them, it seems. Perhaps we should take a lesson from them as adults!
Today, of course, is Boxing Day. Apparently it originated as a day when employers would give "boxes" of gifts to tradesmen, servants, or people of "lesser status." Isn't that interesting?
Hopefully, many of us participate in similar practices. One well-known practice is participation in Operation Christmas Child, which Franklin Graham leads. Our church is a collection center for those boxes, and it was a very fruitful year.
Others participate in taking tags from local trees placed for the purpose of providing gifts to children in low-income families. And for those of us Charles Dickens fans, you may recognize another practice that was included in "A Christmas Carol," when two gentlemen approached Ebenezer Scrooge about providing for the poor and needy. That, unfortunately, didn't go so well...at least not at first!
How heartwarming it is to hear of people's benevolence at this time of year. God has provided each of us with something we can do to lift the spirits of others. Sometimes it may simply be to offer a kind word of encouragement - a "free" gift. And I have always found that no matter what we do to be a blessing to others, we are often more blessed by the giving than are those who receive. Isn't it amazing how that works?
But back to Boxing Day. Many families begin "boxing" away their Christmas decorations on December 26. But what is being boxed? Is it just the physical decorations, or is it more? Let us hope that our packing doesn't rob us of our feelings of benevolence, our wonder at the arrival of the baby Jesus, or of the hope that we find in the start of another year.
As we begin 2014, may we each do our part to make our world a better place. Thank you for stopping by to spend these few minutes with me. I cherish your presence here and wish for you a joyous new beginning at this most wondrous time of the year. May God bless!