Most years, we have a lot of traditional things we do as a family. Hang stockings together. Go to Christmas Eve service. Wrap gifts until late Christmas Eve. Bake fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast, from scratch. Write a letter to the kids from Santa with a reindeer hoof print. Make sure everyone has a gift- family, friends, co-workers. Go caroling at the local hospitals. Make gifts for the kids on hospice service. Work with my friends to get Santa’s Sleigh up and running for another year to visit all the kids in our town.

Not this year…..

This year we aren’t shopping in the malls or caroling or visiting family and friends. We aren’t spending ridiculous amounts of money on things we don’t need. We aren’t going from party to school to office event. And the sleigh has been grounded.

This year we are thinking outside of ourselves. We have had 9 months to think about ourselves. To get a little fatter or a bit fitter. To work on our house, on our relationships, to learn a hobby. This year, we are doing as much as we can for people we don’t even know. Even with the restrictions of Covid 19, we are finding ways to do good. We are thinking beyond the commercialization of Christmas. We are thinking about what Christmas really means.

So what does Christmas REALLY mean to you? For me, it is the appreciation of family, of knowing that we celebrate the birth of a baby in a far away place over 2,000 years ago who came into this world with nothing but gave us a great gift. And the magic of His word and promise of life everlasting carries through to this very day. To quote Dr. Seuss, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Take the time to donate to a charity this year. Donate clothing and food to a facility that provides services to the poor and homeless. Adopt a family who has no income due to Covid and give them the gift of caring. Check on your elderly or infirm neighbors. Call a friend and re-connect. Go to church via Zoom and fill your soul with inspiration.

Find the silver lining in the Covid19 restrictions and know that you can still make a difference, even if it’s just in a small way. Many hearts can change the world for the better.