Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Angle Tree and Caroling

This past weekend I had the privilege to deliver our Angel Tree gifts. There was a bit of a snafu when we accidentally switched two family's gifts, but all was put right in the end.  Our family has participated in Angel Tree for years (they have this in Singapore too!), but this was the first year I had ever delivered the gifts. 

One of the houses was in a "bad" area.  We drove up to a tiny double.  The one side must have had only three rooms, but we saw at least five people come out of it! There were double doors and double deadbolts.  A five year old boy with a shining face came running out yelling gleefully, "My presents are here!  My presents are here!" The grandmother invited Ana and I in.  In the living room had a couch, a t.v., and the most pathetic Christmas tree I had ever seen.  Think Charlie Brown tree, but purple.  It had  no ornaments or presents. It was about three feet tall and set directly on the floor. 

Now I know Christmas isn't about the decorations or the gifts, but I wanted to cry right then and there.  Here was a grandmother taking care of her grandchild and other assorted relatives.  They had as close to nothing as you can get (in America). Giving these gifts gave me more pleasure than any other I will give this season--because they were needed and gratefully accepted.

Mitike, Ana, and I also went caroling to two shut-ins from church and a nursing home.  All we did was sing and hand out paper stars with a Christmas message on it, but again the pleasure in receiving the smiles was priceless. 

Take time this Christmas to reach out to the poor and neglected.  You'll leave recharged and full of the true Christmas spirit.