Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ho, ho, Holy giving....

Nicholas of Myra, who inspired our own tradition of Santa Claus, once learned of a family that was going to sell their three daughters into slavery to keep from starving. Stealthily, he took three bags of gold and threw them through the family's window to pay the ransom for the girls' freedom. This, and other secret gifts he gave the poor, are the basis for the gift-giving we do at this time each year. However, though there are still 1.2 million children trafficked each year in the global sex trade, we often choose to gift those who are in need of very little.

Look around you as you shop this season. Can you help any of those who could truly use your help? Even if you just make a secret pledge between yourself and God to not pass by a red bucket without putting something in it so your wealth can be put to work for others, that would be more in keeping with the true intent of the season than the shopping and giving we usually do. There are many places you can gift that will be of service to those in need if you are not comfortable gifting the needy directly. Let us be inspired by those who give Love for the right reasons this season, by those such as the original Nicolas, who gave because they love the true Giver. The man we see in the fake beard and the red suit is, after all, a very poor imitation of what the season and celebration is truly about.

"There is no improving the future without disturbing the present."
Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army

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