In this crazy hectic world my one hope is that I instill in my children the desire to help others…. During the holiday season, we encourage our children to make lists of their wants… We stand in long lines so they can climb upon the knee of the bringer of toys and whisper their hearts desires… but are we encouraging a true holiday spirit? Are we teaching them the truest joys don’t come wrapped in ribbons and bows?
Just this morning I watched my son play and I wondered if I had taught him the true spirit of Christmas… We have visited Santa, attended holiday parties and written the essential letter to the big man in red. The lights are up, the tree is ready and stockings are hung. I watched him and wondered if that might be the essence of what he feels Christmas is.
As I have mentioned before, my youngest son ( I call him Boo) has special needs. He has a severe developmental delay and at 16 is developmentally 7 or 8. He has been thrilled to remind me daily that SANTA is coming !! “Soon Mama!!”, he says. He was excited to mail his letter to the North Pole and anxiously awaits the big day… but still my mamas heart hoped I had given him something just a little bit more to hold onto…
My answer came when it was most unexpected. We went to the pharmacy and as we walked up to the store, he squeezed my fingers and said ,”Mama, does that man have a home?” I glanced over and saw a young man with his dog. He looked sad and defeated. He was so thin I could see his bones thru the threadbare teeshirt he wore on this cold day. As we walked into the store I hugged Boo and explained that yes, that man had no home . He looked very thoughtful and followed me to the register. As we pulled out of the parking lot I felt a tug at my heart that I was leaving a task undone.
We got home and that young man was on my heart… I was making a list in my head of what we had that could help him, when Boo said, “Mama can we take that man something to eat?” My heart filled with joy as I realized that my worries earlier were of no merit… Together we packed up some food and water. We bagged up some cat food for his dog— it was all we had– and put it in the car. I grabbed the new fleece lined sweatshirt I had bought for my oldest son for xmas… I knew in my heart he wouldn’t mind and if he was here would have taken it himself… As we went to get in the car, Boo said,”I need something.” and pounded up the stairs like a little puppy full of excitement. He came downstairs clutching a small stuffed animal in his hands . I must explain here that Boo LOVES his luvies . He has many and they each have a name and importance. It was one of these he had clutched in his hands as he said, “Mama, I want that man to have this so he is not alone” I blinked my eyes to hold back tears of joy and my heart sang.
We drove back to the pharmacy and still he sat. Cold, alone and lonely. The parking lot was busy and bustling with people yet no one even glanced at this man. We don’t know his story. We don’t know how he came to be at this point in his life…but doesn’t the true spirit of Christmas teach us to open our hearts to others in blind faith? We handed him the items and my son cheerily said “Merry Christmas!” This man, this stranger who crossed our path, was the one who gave us the greatest gift of all… He reminded me that the love we show to others is the gift we should strive for… And he showed me that my young son has taken that lesson to heart…
My dearest readers, I wish you all a most joyous holiday and that you may all have the joy of Christmas Spirit within your hearts…. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all — with love, The Sun Mama