Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
—Hamilton Wright Mabie (1846-1916)
Christmas approaches, its warm fuzzy feeling felt afar off, first presents have been bought and boxed decorations stand really for commission. Yet along with this dawns a slight apprehension. I know food, decor, and Christmas presents alone are not enough. Not even family gatherings and parties, pleasant though they are, are enough to satisfy the ache for Christmas that surfaces in my heart at this time of year.
I recall an incident with my youngest daughter the Christmas we returned from the Far East. In spite of finally having a Christmas in England where it was celebrated (and there was at least the possibility of snow) we all felt something missing. We were pretty hard up and knew presents would be small but that didn’t worry us at all we were a happy thankful crowd. We were invited to my eldest daughter’s house where Christmas would be celebrated in style with perfect decor, and expert cooking, nothing missing to welcome her family back to London, yet still something didn’t feel right.
We were by the shopping mall when it happened. We saw a homeless guy looking dejected, his cardboard sign showing signs of much use.
“Can we give him some money mum?” she asked. I hesitated wondering if he might just spend it on drink or drugs (the UK has a good welfare system so the homeless often tend to have some problem). Then I had an idea. Going to a nearby snack shop I helped her choose a sandwich and hot drink which she gave with an encouraging smile, telling him.
“We thought you must be cold so we bought you a present.”
The man beamed and thanked us profusely. I guess the food showed more concern and was more personal than a dropped coin.
As she walked away she whispered, “Now it feels like Christmas.”
Last year I donated to “Crisis” to sponser a homeless person to spend Christmas at one of their centers and to get help and advice. My check is once more in the post but this year I want to do something more. What? I’m not sure but I’m looking out for it.