That Tingly Holiday Feeling

This weekend, I watched a special program on our local TV station. It was about an area business man named Larry Stewart, who for years roamed the streets of Kansas City in the days before Christmas, walking up to strangers and handing them money - sometimes several hundred, even thousands of dollars. He did it to pay back an old debt and then kept doing it because it makes him so happy. He goes to those parts of town where he is most likely to find people who are the most needy, or else hears about people who are having a particularly hard time. He always gives the money with the message "One day, when you are able, do something to help someone else."

You can find out more about this remarkable man at the website Secret Santa. Look under "Media Stories". Mr. Stewart was diagnosed with cancer this year and is undergoing treatment. Now he is relying on other Secret Santas to help him. He doesn't encourage people to do exactly what he did, since walking around dangerous parts of town with large sums of money can only be done safely with a police escort. But he does say that each of us can do a little something to bless others, whether it's giving an extra tip, give someone an extra word of appreciation, or help in some other way. So the goodness just keeps growing and rippling out to more and more people.

I believe Secret Santa has captured the truest meaning of Christmas, which is to give of yourself in order to share the love with someone else, regardless of their social status, race, creed, or even character. To give someone the gift of knowing that someone somewhere singled them out to share the love, to show them that we are all special in God's eyes. And each and every one of us can be a Secret Santa, even in a very small way. And by doing this, we can each share in the perfect love that was born in a manger long ago.

So this year, I'm giving myself the best Christmas present I can think of - the gift of joy! I've signed up to be a Secret Santa. Will you?

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