The Christmas Shoes by Author Cheryl
Loving our Families Always
A little boy goes to the store to buy his dieing mother a pretty pair of shoes so that upon her death she will meet Jesus looking beautiful. After the cashier counts all of his pennies he doesn't have enough but insisted he was getting his mother those shoes. A stranger over hears the conversation and agrees to pay for the shoes so that the little boy can give them to his mother.
As the holidays are fast approaching I have reflected back through the year and thought about what I could do for my family this holiday season. Not buy them pretty shoes or fancy clothes but hold them close to my heart and love them.
From Halloween to New Year's life becomes so commercialized that we have to buy the best candy for trick or treators, make the biggest turkey for Thanksgiving, buy the kids and grand children the best and most expensive gifts and then party like it's 1999 on New Year's Eve.
But what we fail to realize that all these material things do nothing to bring our families together. Family units are so broken at this time, that caring about one's feelings seems obsolete.
What do material things bring into our lives?
We get so caught up in our lives that we find ourselves regretting when we hear about friends dieing, or family members leaving us without us even saying goodbye.
My friend Lisa who was a vibrant young woman of 38 passed away suddenly last January a day after she had sent me an email. I never got to say goodbye, spend time with her or even have a conversation with her on the phone because we were both to busy with life. I had moved from Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville and the last time I talked to her was Halloween when we had planned to get together after the first of the year. It never happened.
This year I don't want to buy expensive gifts for family members or my friends but give them all the love I have inside my heart and let them know every single day that I think about them often. I don't want to take my friends to lunch or dinner but cherish every moment we can spend together laughing and being silly.
When its time for me to part my life I hope that no one wants to buy me Christmas shoes, but will be there to give me love until my time is done. If you have issues with family or friends resolve it before its too late because a pair of shoes can never take the place of someone's heart.
What does Christmas Mean to You
Do you believe that love certainly out weighs gifts?
"Anyone who has struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor." -James Baldwin
There are millions of "impoverished" families in the world and that number is only rising. Of these families there are children that go unclothed and unfed, elderly that go unattended, and a state of general hopelessness. Though many of these families can just get by, there are even more who can not. There are many ways to help needy families.
- Don't let anonymity bother you. If you truly wish to help someone then you really shouldn't care if you get recognized anyway.
- Contact an organization. There are countless organizations dedicated to helping less fortunate people all over the world.
- Be your own unemployment office. If you know someone personally, who is struggling then offer that person a job. It doesn't need to be anything like a secretary or anything. Just casually mention it in passing like, "Hey I'm really busy and I haven't got the time. So could you (mow my lawn, help with my house, etc.) I'll even pay you, please, I really need help." See if they're more likely to accept this offer more than outright giving them the money.
- Never imply that you think that they need help. It's a huge insult and they will almost definitely refuse.
We have heard of people going to different stores paying off lay away items for others on Christmas. After all it is about Jesus birthday not about presents and decorations. Many times you will never realize how much a smile could mean to someone. Sometimes you don't always have to buy someone something to help them. Sometimes they just need encouragement and an ear to bend.
Why do we only spend the holidays to give to people? Life goes fast in the blink of an eye and before my life is over I would surely like to know I have helped many people along this journey called life. Maybe I could never help someone financially but emotionally I can give 100%.
Some people are going through a lot because of the economy, because of unforeseen circumstances, because they just can't get it together and maybe something you said a year ago helped them now to get through it.
Don't always want things, need things, wish for things. Give of your heart and soul so that you can ease the fear of someone else and the problems they are going through. You never know when it will be the best day you gave someone.
Giving from your heart
The picture above expresses one person giving another person a heart. There is one thing about love and that it's free. If you have to pay for love then it is not love. When you give from the heart, a person knows it and will appreciate you more then if you just gave them something out of wanting acknowledgement or wanting the whole world to know that you gave them something. Those that give of the heart, give silently and know just the right time that someone is in need without asking.
If you truly are a real friend, needing help is something you already know. Even if it is your family and you give them help financially always remember it was never a loan. People give loans expecting to be paid back, but most of the time people are asking for financial help and do not have the means to pay you back. Help them out of love and your reward will be double.