Let's face it, its not often when thinking about Christmas in early October (when the stores began to display all the trees and decorations) that the birth of Jesus is on our minds. It's usually "wow is it really almost Christmas again"! Then we are wondering how we will pay for all the things our families want and where we will be spending the day. The thought of the true meaning of the holiday doesn't usually pop into mind until a week or so before when we have to go to a school Christmas play or we are asked to sing a Christmas solo at church. It's really hard to stay focused on "Christ" in Christmas when we have small children that are so concerned with what Santa will leave under the tree on Christmas Eve. If I could go back in time I would make it a point to put very little emphasis on gifts and so much more on the birth and life of Jesus and on what he represents. The nature of his life which is unselfish love. Jesus said our first two commandments were to Love God and Love others. We are with our families all year and hopefully sharing love between us everyday. Its Christmas time that we should be more focused on those outside our homes that live in situations that mean they probably don't get the love and support they need. Children that don't have a coat or shoes to wear or 3 hots meals a day. Adults that don't have those things either. So often we judge why adults are homeless or hungry thinking its their own fault never considering that they may have done all they could do and grew weary of trying. Jesus doesn't tell us to guess why someone is in need, he just tells us to help them and let God do the judging. There are so many places we can reach out to that has list upon list of people in need. I would suggest that we try to start in our local communities. I live in a very small town but we amazingly still have many in need of basic needs. My suggestion is to go to your web search engine ( Google or Safari) and type in the words " local non profits near me". You might also search " local drug rehabs near me". You can get the contact info and call and ask if they have parents that have children that need assistance. My family works with one in our community and its been life changing for us and the parents and children we are able to help. You might consider getting a few shoe boxes and filling them with items that a elderly person could use in a nursing home setting. With so many baby boomers in the nursing facilities many are alone and have no family to see to the individuals needs. Most items can be bought at a local Dollar Store. Its amazing how the smallest things make such a big difference when we are forced to try to live without them. Whatever you decide to do try to get your children involved as much as possible and it will ensure they continue the tradition after they are grown and start their own families. God bless and I pray all have a Very Merry Christmas.