I remember what it was like growing up poor. Christmas wasn't always an exciting time. While others around us were excitedly talking about what wonderful presents they would be receiving, we were simply hoping for maybe a new outfit or new shoes. Maybe a new pair gloves and some candy and fruit.
Since growing up I have gone from what I would term poor to middle class. Definitely not rich, and at times a small struggle, but overall very blessed. In fact, every day of life has been a blessing, and I so thank God for our home, our children and beautiful grandchildren.
Today I had an opportunity to give back a little of what God has given me. Coby and I have sort of adopted a family in our neighborhood with three small children. We make sure they have what they need, and the kids stop in often just to talk. The parents are going through a divorce and times are really hard right now. Today I found out it was the youngest child's fourth birthday. I asked his older sister if they were having a party or anything later on. I found out that no, there was no party, no presents, and they didn't have milk or bread or a few other necessities. She normally wouldn't have told me all this, but it was her little brother's birthday and I think that opened the door.
My son and daughter-in-law where here, and we discussed this. Pooling resources we bought milk, bread, fruit, and a birthday cake and ice-cream and pizza for the family. Since I have a 3 year old grandson for whom I had already purchased Christmas, I simply wrapped those presents as birthday presents.
We stayed long enough to sing happy birthday, tears and hugs, and a small piece of cake. For just a few moments it was like the world was finally right in this house. The children were so happy. Even the older two were overjoyed at watching their little brother's smiles as he opened presents he wasn't expecting.
I know there are many others in world that have having problems as bad, or worse. And I know I can't take care of them all. I will, however, carry the memory of those joyous smiles tonight for a long time. It cost me very little, and yet gave so very much. Giving really is the true spirit of Christmas.