By Myckelle Williams
When the angel announced to the shepherds the birth of Jesus he said: “Be not afraid; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!” ~Luke 2:1-20
In school, I have been taking a ‘Life of Jesus” class that teaches all about Christ, from his prophetic foretelling, to his immaculate conception, and on through his great sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection. It never ceases to amaze me that Christ was brought here to earth in the servant-man form of God to not only to atone for my sins, but bring me back into reconciliation with our Heavenly Father, and re-establish our dominion here on earth. It always humbles me when I think that I am so undeserving of the blessings that he bestows on us, and the total forgiveness that he offers when we submit ourselves and ask.
This year, I decided to start a new tradition in my family. Rather than instructing my children to make lists of what they want to receive on Christmas, I told them instead to write what we need to give and do for others this holiday season. During the holidays, America experiences higher suicidal rates, and depression. That is because instead of feeling the joy and peace of fellowshipping with our friends and loved ones, we experience the stress and pressure of trying to please everyone, often even going into debt to do so. In worrying about our desperate circumstances, and thinking of our lack, we forget that there are others who experience much worse.
For example; when I went to Grace Pregnancy Center to volunteer this week, I noticed that there was a woman named Molly who sleeping on the porch wrapped in plastic to keep warm. I was told that she has done this every day for 3 years. When we come in to open up the center, Molly greets us with a smile, gets up, gathers her belongings, and goes to a nearby empty field to sit all day. I couldn’t help but to notice how cold it was when I was hanging the open sign, and couldn’t wait to rush back inside. Then, I felt convicted because my few minutes of discomfort was nothing compared to what Molly must be feeling. And the winter has only just started.
Then, an hour later, a man named Charlie came over from across the street where he LIVES in the public storage rental unit. They let him sleep there as long as he leaves in the morning. He comes to the center at least once a week to use the phone to check on his elderly mom who is ill. He was sending her his only $5.00 because he couldn’t come home for the holidays, but he kept saying to me how grateful he was for someone giving him that $5. When he came, in his hands he carried a coat, which he gave to Molly as she left the front porch. She put it on with such pride and gratefulness, and spun around, modeling the coat for us. We clapped. The whole experience brought tears to my eyes. It CHECKED me in my spirit. Who am I to complain about the little things? I’m mad when I look in my closet and can’t find the right jeans or decide my shoes don’t match my coat just right. I was truly convicted at my lack of awareness of the plight of others, and determined to focus more on others outside of myself. I thank God for allowing me to see others that have it so much worse and are yet still smiling and thankful!
Many times we get caught up in the tradition of the holiday season, rather than acknowledging the root of the holiday celebration. Although Jesus might not have been born on December 25th, the goal of Christmas it to take time to recognize his birth and the amazing wonder that he brought to this earth; a life full of miracles, lessons, and gifts that continue to bless us to this very day. Instead, we have chosen to give homage to Black Friday sales, old stressful traditions, and Santa Claus, rather than discovering ways to honor Christ in our families, creating new traditions of love, selflessness, and giving, that go beyond our desires and our own egos.
Here are a couple of suggestions that may help bring the focus back on giving this season in your own family:
1) Adopt a Family. Many times at your local food banks, MUST Ministries, or Pregnancy Center, they have programs that enable you to adopt a needy family for the holiday season. You can get a list of their needs and have everyone help buy and donate gifts. It’s such a blessing to see the family so thankful and excited to receive gifts that they might otherwise not.
2) Feeding the Hungry. Going to a local food bank or shelter, you can get information on service days for serving and helping with meal programs, such as Meals on Wheels. You can donate turkeys and meals, and bring your family to help serve dinners. It is an eye-opening experience for children, when they realize that there are those who don’t eat on Christmas.
3) Gifting the Neighbors. We do this also each year. Make pretty gift baskets with cards and walk over to each neighbor and pass them out on Christmas eve with our children. It is nice to see the neighbors get excited, and you also get to introduce yourself and get to know your neighbors!
4) Secret Santa. Have everyone draw names out of a hat a month or two before Christmas. That person is responsible for buying a gift to that person. A price limit can be put on the gift, or it must be something that tells a little about that person and their personality, along with a card that expresses themselves to the person who opens the gift. After opening the secret gift, it is fun to guess your secret Santa, and wonderful to see how well your family knows you.
B.L.O.G Magazine™ wants to recognize the reason for the season, the birth of Jesus, the Savior into the earth! Feature articles by our amazing writers will highlight love, peace and joy of giving, even when you don’t do it in a material way. We have featured ministries that you are welcome to contact with your gifts and/or donations, and ways to celebrate inexpensively, and we discuss new traditions that you may want to start with your family. It’s time to teach our young people that Christmas is not always about receiving, but about finding ways to bless others, in the spirit of Christ, the King, who came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
Our Second launch cycle will also feature family recipes and new Christmas traditions of our B.L.O.G. Ladies that you can try at home and share with your own families and enjoy.
Let us all look outside of ourselves, and reflect this season on what lessons God has taught you, and discover new ways to show honor to the one who deserves it. Remember and remind your loved ones that the best way to honor Christ is to remember his love and sacrifice, and to be reminded to model it in our own lives with those closest to you in your life and heart…and remember that with each moment you are alive, you can make an impact. Not only on Christmas, but all year long.
Have a Very B.L.O.G. Christmas!!
Myckelle P Williams
CEO, B.L.O.G. Magazine
Myckelle P Williams, C.E.O. of B.L.O.G. Magazine™, and creator of the Heartwood Project™ for Women, lives in Tennessee with her husband of over 20 years, Gerald. She is the mother of 6 children and two grandchildren. Once a teen mother who overcame the odds, Myckelle helps empower women to overcome the traumas of their past, and mentors young women over the country. She was featured on “Joy in our Town” on TBN Network, for her development of the PURE Satisfaction™ Abstinence Program in Atlanta in 2009. She is the author of the book ‘Choosing the Road Less Traveled: Finding Grace on the Path to Purpose,’ which is now available on amazon.com and Kindle. For more information about her upcoming Heartwood Project™ Seminars, you can reach Myckelle at firstname.lastname@example.org