On Sunday, Dec. 25, Christians from Alabama to Albuquerque will celebrate the religious holiday known as Christmas – marking the birth of Jesus. Churches will be packed for morning services while ovens will remain piping hot as sumptuous meals are prepared before being served to friends and family.
But we should remember that while some will exchange gifts, share hugs and kisses under mistletoe and tell tales of Christmases long ago, others will rise on Sunday morning feeling, lonely, lost, downtrodden and depressed. For reasons too many to list, they will find very little for which to give thanks or to celebrate.
In many ways, these men, women and even children, often go unnoticed – like the growing number of homeless people in D.C. who we often pass in our cars, ignoring their plight and their pain.
And while we cannot save the entire world, if we really want to illustrate the kind of unconditional love for “the least of these” that Christians profess serves as one of the primary tenets of our faith, perhaps we should be more intentional about spreading good tidings and joy and reach out to someone less fortunate.
Visit a nursing home or a senior citizens center, taking cakes and cookies, singing songs of praise and giving heartfelt hugs to people who rarely feel the warmth that comes from the human touch.
It’s not too late to consider spending a few less dollars on gifts for your loved ones and providing funds for a local nonprofit, church or community organization that feed the homeless, clothe the naked, and give shelter to those shivering in the cold.
Spread joy with and blessings to a stranger this Christmas. That’s what the day is really all about.