Christmas Can Be Tough

Something for Christmas

Here is something for Christmas

The holidays can be a little raw.  A little bit tough.  My childhood was a cross between living in Mayberry and The Brady Bunch.  You build up big expectations for Christmas when you are that age and your life is storybook.

Nobody ever told me that it would not always be like that and that other people had less than experiences for Christmas.  Noone ever mentioned my grandparents and parents would all die and my siblings would develop their own Christmas traditions.  There is some sadness comes with all those great old memories.  It is hard to live up to those.

The way I deal with painful expectations is to look around and find someone who really has issues they are dealing with during the holidays.  I try and make their holidays a little brighter.  After all, the holidays are not about getting, but instead about giving and being generous.

More Blessed to Give

The Savior said it is more blessed to give than to receive.  That is the way He lived His life.  He gave what He had.   His gifts besides the miracles came mostly in regard to perspective.  He introduced people to His heavenly Father and showed them possibilities for their life.  He was very generous with himself.  Finally, He was very generous with His life.

Why not make it your goal to give someone the best Christmas they have ever had?  If an opportunity has not presented itself pray that one will.  If you are still looking for one then consider the opportunity afforded me.

Here is the story…

I was looking for something to do on Thanksgiving.  We have 100 people every year at my sisters for Thanksgiving and I love them all dearly.  However, sometimes it reminds me of things I don’t want to think about and past regrets. That was the case this year.

So, I prayed and ask the Lord to make Thanksgiving meaningful this year.  I decided to go to a community dinner being put on to feed Thanksgiving dinner for folks who needed a little help.  That sounded like a good thing to do.

When I arrived, there were volunteers everywhere.  Behind every platter of food stood a festive helper ready to dip.  There were others milling around looking for homeless to help.  I decided to blend in and went to stand beside a patron who was eating.  I posted our conversation under Thanksgiving Prose.  It was enlightening.

Not needed and getting hungry from smelling all the good food, I left to look for my Thanksgiving meal (I didn’t feel right eating and not helping out….they might have believed I was needy ha ha…of course we are all needy).   I finally found a single McDonald’s open and got a biscuit. (And I could have been at my sister’s spread…ugh)

The Holiday Conversation

The day was sunny so I decided to work on my tennis serve.  One never can hit too many serves.  I set up my basket of balls and before I could hit my first serve I had the following conversation…

“Anthony, this man will play with you.”

“Boy, it is almost December, where are you shirt and shoes?”

“Aw, he doesn’t think about that when he runs outside to play.”

“Catch it on the first bounce.”  Try again, relax and let the ball come to you.”

“We just moved here from Montgomery. That place has gone crazy. I had to get that boy out of there.  Gangs are bad.  The last straw was the young mother that died on her porch in front of her child.  Two cars were shooting at each other as they drove by her house.  A stray bullet hit her and killed her.  She bled out on the porch in front of her son.”

“Ok, stop rolling on the ground, just bend over and pick it up and throw it back underhand.”

“I am staying here with my aunt Betty.  Me and the boy got out of there with nothing but the clothes on our backs.”

“Anthony is your son?”

“He is my grandson, but I am getting custody.  My daughter is crazy.  She is with a man that beats her.  She thinks she is in love.  I couldn’t believe she ran out on me.  We were living together and putting our disability checks together to pay the rent.  I couldn’t pay $950 a month after she left to be with that man that beats her.  He broke her eye socket and separated the connecting tissue in her eye.  You can’t tell her anything.  I guess she got it from me.”

“Don’t throw it like a hand grenade.  Turn sideways, bend your elbow and throw.  That’s it…much better.”

“My man used to beat me like that too.  He knocked out all my front teeth.  Broke my nose and my eye socket too.  I got to where if he wasn’t beating me, I didn’t think he loved me.  Ain’t with a man now.  I can’t trust them.  I mean maybe not all men are bad, but I wouldn’t know a good one if I saw one.”

“Is it the boy’s father who beats your daughter?”

“No, his father is in prison for life.  He was in a gang and something to do with killing someone over drugs.  People in those gangs will come up to you and hit you in the face for no reason.  I had to get out of there.  The boy is not going have any Christmas, do you think the fire department could help?”

“I am not with the Fire Department.”

“I saw those guys with the Fire Department playing over there and I thought you were their boss.

“No, but I know someone who might help.  Give me your number and I will see if they will help.”

“Ok, but the this number cuts off November 30th, but should be working again by December 1st.”

“Anthony, help me pick up these balls.  Go over and see if you can throw them over the net.”

Answered Prayer

And just like that Anthony, Kimberly and Betty were gone.  A few hours passed and then it dawned on me…

Oh, Ok Lord I get it. I see these two conversations are your answer to my prayer.  You are reminding me it is Thanksgiving and  I have so much to be thankful for.  I knew that, but thank you for the reminder.

If you would like to make sure that Anthony and Kimberly have a better Christmas than expected you can call me at 256-436-9990.


Christmas Can be Tough

Post Script:  Thanks to all that helped Kimberly and Anthony have a Merry Christmas!!!

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