Published On: Wed, Dec 26th, 2018

A Holiday Season with Many Meanings, What Does Christmas Represent to You?

I love this time of the year, not because of the gifts, the merrymaking or even the weather, but more so, for the outpour of heartwarming stories of kindness from those among us.

While penning this week’s column, I got a call from a friend who was frantically scrambling for toys. Several children in their community, fell through the cracks and had not gotten any gifts.

Thanks to our friends at Children’s Services Council, they connected me with Deborah Fox Katz from the nonprofit organization Community Friends, Inc., who saved the day. Katz provided enough toys so these 26 needy children could enjoy the season.

According to the organization’s website, they aim to bring joy, comfort, care and security to many people in our community. I attest that Community Friends, Inc., fulfilled its mission this Christmas when they provided gifts to deserving children in our community.

Christmas means different thing to different people.

To me, Christmas represent God’s greatest gift to us – the birth of our Lord and Savior.

The season also gives me an opportunity to reflect on many blessings.

Over the past two weeks, I had the pleasure of watching an army of strangers bring Santa and the spirit of Christmas to babies in Head Start programs at two schools in Delray Beach and a third in Boynton Beach.

The excitement in those kids’ eyes when they heard that Santa would visit them was memorable, the screams when the jolly old fellow walked into the room were piercing, and the goodbye hugs they gave Santa as they were led back to their classes were heart-warming.

Christmas also means forgetting self, as those staffers at the IBM Southeast Credit Union and the City of Delray Beach Community Improvement Department – who provided Santa – did when they remembered those kids, some who otherwise would not have had a Christmas experience.

To those darling periwinkles at Village Academy, Pine Grove and Rolling Green elementary, I am sure that gesture of kindness was a true demonstration of Christmas.

Adding to the excitement at Pine Grove was NFL Hall of Famer Nat Moore and his crew from the Miami Dolphins Foundation. Moore signed autographs, took photos and offered best wishes.

Santa’s elves also deserve much credit and a merry Christmas. It took an army of behind-the-scenes workers, donors and coordinators to make the experience such a joyous event.

Those volunteers were not paid in cash, but in appreciation and the personal satisfaction of contributing. Though intangible, it is valuable currency.

It is safe to say that all the volunteers got more in return than they gave.

Christmas also can be a season of great joy for our less fortunate neighbors or the homeless residents in the parks or on the street. We can do our part to ensure that they too enjoy Christmas.

I am reminded of those parents who had lost hope of giving their children a merry Christmas until Pastor Dan West of Restoration Bridge International, Inc., our modern-day good Samaritan, gave them two boxes of food on Wednesday.

As we observe this holiday, let us not get too caught up in our own world (family or friends) and lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas, which is more than a jolly greeting, the cards in the mail, the lights in the windows and the gifts under the tree. It is a time to reflect on how you can improve life for the least among us, and a time to heal the wounds with neighbors and those we have wronged. Christmas will be what you make it to be. For it is in giving that we receive [St Francis of Assisi].

 

  1. Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@Delraybeachtribune.com or 561-665-0151.

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