But for me it takes more than the weather to get that Christmas feeling. I get it when I help others. Today, I got it. Every year, a group of us from work help out at the Salvation Army. They run a toy drive for underprivelaged families. We collect toys at work, then go down to the Salvation Army to get them bagged up by family. We distribute them about a week before Christmas. Today was Distribution Day. Mothers and/or fathers come down to pick up the toys and a gift card for a local supermarket. Sometimes, they bring along their children.
It's such a great feeling to know that, in some small way, you're helping to give something so special to families and kids. It's as great a feeling as seeing a child enjoying my book. When I see the gratitude in a parent's eyes, because they'll be able to give their child a merry Christmas, it reminds me of how lucky and blessed I've been in my life. The grousing and complaining I do at times seems so petty compared to the challenges that these families face every day. So many people need a helping hand.
I urge you all to take a few hours or a day out of your busy schedule at this time of year to help out a charitable organization in your community. If possible, get your kids involved, so that they don't take what they've got for granted. Because helping others is truly what Christmas means. And in this day and age, it's so easy to forget that.