It was a mild day in December but I always felt for the people who volunteered their time to ring the bell for the Salvation Army.
I reached in my pocket taking out change and depositing it in the red bucket. Though I never identified myself as being a Christmas person, I’ve always enjoyed filling the bucket. It felt good to do good, simply put.
For some reason the warm and fuzzy feeling stayed with me as I sat on the floor wrapping Christmas gifts that night. I spun the box that contained the Bat Bot for my son in my hands and a smile spread across my face. I knew he was going to love it. My son is still just a little too young to make a Christmas list but he had played with the toy I was now wrapping at a friend’s house the month before. I watched how fascinated he was with it and knew this was what I should get him for Christmas. I could picture him tearing it open on Christmas Eve and I surprised myself growing excited with anticipation.
I knew I was going to give him something that would make him happy and in turn it automatically made me happy. It wasn’t so much the contents of the gift, but that I knew he was going to love it. His reaction was what I was looking forward to most.
Running the scissors across the Star Wars wrapping paper it occurred to me, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store…Maybe Christmas perhaps…means a little bit more.” I had always appreciated the concept, but I felt for the first time I had solidly put my finger on the application of it. Christmas was just a day, a placeholder on the calendar for people to practice this type of behavior—giving.
I will easily give a present to someone or do something for them because I want to. The page on the calendar didn’t need to be turned to a certain date. I have always been an inspired gift giver.
Maybe what I didn’t like in the past was that Christmas felt forced: It is December 25th. Here is a list. Now go forth and buy these exact presents.
I looked back at the wrapping paper. What I was finally experiencing this year was “the force” as in “the force is with you.” As Obi-Wan Kenobi reminds us: “Use the force, it’s what binds the galaxy together.”
Go out and do good.
Author: Erika Bailey
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Tom Page/Flickr