I can totally relate to this song on some levels. Though I was blessed enough by God that I never had to do negative things to survive I knew what it was like to go without certain things. I thank God for my parents because they always made sure we had the necessities...food, housing, heat, electricity and education. But being without these things was never to far away from my reality...growing up in a big size family it was indeed a struggle. I saw kids my age in my neighborhood definitely go without the necessities in life so it always kept me grateful as child.
This time of year for me has always been weird since I was like 10 or 11 years old. As children we watched a lot of television and would be inundated with Christmas advertisements for the latest toys, clothes and gadgets. All our friends at school would write these long elaborate Christmas' wish lists knowing that they would get just about everything on those lists. So imagine our hopes and expectations as little kids for Christmas day!!
|My extended family during the holidays|
Well my expectations for receiving gifts on Christmas one day changed. Myself and my younger sister who was about 8 or 9 yrs old at the time woke up early one morning on Christmas day to absolutely nothing at all. I just remember the way I felt that morning when my heart sank down to my feet and I looked over to see my sister with tears in her eyes.
|I love this movie!!|
Maaann that was a day of big disappoint that still sits in my memory as clear as the time it happened. Prior to this happening my parents kept telling us not to expect anything this year but being the naive children we were at the time we just though they were trying to trick and surprise us but boy were we wrong. I should have known something was up when my older brothers didn't even wake up that morning to see the loot! They must have knew it to be true because usually they will go looking throughout the house in all of my mom's hiding spots for our gifts.
That day I just laid in the bed until our mom made us get up and clean up the house for our guest that were coming over later that day. Our family finally came over for Christmas dinner and I remember my aunt asking us to show her what we got for Christmas and I just felt so embarassed and angry telling her that our parents didn't get us anything. The truth of the matter was that my parents couldn't afford to give us gifts that year and the years that followed weren't that great either but they did try..we would get matching pajamas, under clothes and socks. I will never buy anybody pajamas for Christmas! lol Looking back on it I should have been happy that we even had a Christmas dinner but I couldn't understand that as a kid and probably would have been happier with just toys lol.
I should have saw this coming because for two Christmas seaosons before that the gifts we did receive were from the Goodfellows of Detroit (Please donate!!) and not our parents. The Goodfellows of Detroit would provide families in need with boxes of toys and clothes for each child. My siblings and I still reminisce about these gifts til this very day. Because of the kindness and thoughtfulness of others we were able to enjoy Christmas days for a little longer until reality hit.
Now with Christmas just around the corner everyone is talking about their wishlists and gifts. However, for me it is a time of reflection and thankfulness. I really don't celebrate Christmas in the typical way of gift giving since that disappointing Christmas. I have no expectations of receiving gifts nor do I really care to receive anything. But I look at Christmas now for what it really is...Jesus' Birthday!! I celebrate Christmas day as the symbol of Jesus coming into this world to give us new life - salvation through his blood.
My challenge to each of you is to BE A GIFT to others during this holiday season!!!I believe that God created man so that we are each other's gift to one another. Be a blessing to another! Also, we are very wrapped up in the commercialism ideology of receiving gifts for ourselves when there are people right in front of us that NEED us. I thought about buying gifts for my family like my niece and nephew but to be honest they have an abundance of toys, clothes etc already. Instead I am focusing my efforts on those in need. For the next two Saturdays I will be giving of my time and money by volunteering to pass out gift boxes through the Goodfellows of Detroit for families with children in need. If I can help it I want to keep other children from experiencing that disappointing feeling that I felt Christmas morning. I am more than happy to participate in a worthy cause that has once helped me and be in the position in life to give back to others.