I love this time of year because it is a time that you can show others just how much you appreciate them and all that they do for you or your kids. The Sunday school teachers, classroom teachers, bus driver, piano teacher, Bible study leaders, and extended family are just some of the folks on our list of people we "gift" this Christmas season. The only time I don't like giving is when I feel like I "have to" or am somehow guilted into giving. I will give you two examples.
Yesterday I had to run to the grocery store and pick up just a couple of things for my daughter's class party. I was rushing in and saw the Salvation Army bell ringer. I have given to just about every ringer I have seen this year (mostly because my kids are begging me for change to put in the bucket) and I am more than happy to do it. But today the ringer watched me from the door into the store and said, "Hello. How are you?" I said, "good," and then quickly ran to find the items I needed. Then as I walked out (five minutes later) he once again says, "Bye. And Merry Christmas." He seemed like a nice guy, he said all the normal greetings, and yet, somehow I felt guilty that I didn't put any change in his red bucket. Why did I feel like I needed to tell him I have given to many ringers this year and that I was in a rush?
The second instance of being "guilted into giving" was left in my mailbox and it reads:
'Twas weeks before Christmas and all through the 'hood
The weather was warm and the driving was good
The houses and yards were bedecked with good cheer
And I said to myself "Looks like my kind of year!"
But what to my wandering eye should appear
But an Artic cold front! And it soon would be here!!
It's blizzards and fat Sunday papers I fear!
It's a paperboys' Christmas ... oh but ... Happy New Year.
My paperboy is a 60 year old grown man who deserves points for his creative Christmas story but loses some for including his name & address on the bottom of this Holiday greeting in a shameless plug for a tip.