A Priceless Christmas Gift

by Melinda

Doing good deeds for others is commendable any time of year. Yet we seem to think of it more often during Christmas time.

Today the popular catch phrase is, “passing it forward.” Another expression that may apply is, “Good Samaritan.” Regardless of the term it all comes down to helping others without thought of personal gain.

These expressions all represent the true tradition of Christmas and how its spirit lives throughout the year.

There’s a family in a parish I know (my former parish where I used to live). Anyway, their good deed – act of charity – each Christmas is truly commendable. At least in my opinion it’s more notable than others.

What do they do and why do I think it’s so special?

On Christmas day two or three generations of this family spend Christmas day cooking a big dinner in the parish hall. The recipients of this home-cooked feast are the “less fortunate” in our area.

That’s right. This family literally gives up their Christmas day to help others. They use the parish kitchen – in the school cafeteria next to the Church – to cook enough delicious food to serve hundreds of people.

They’ve created their own local, inspiring history on Christmas over time.

And as the number of needy people has grown, this benevolent family has had to recruit extra help. So other parishioners donate food and some also help out with the cooking, serving and cleanup.

Now why do I think this good deed is a bit more notable than others?

Perhaps because Christmas is so, so special to me. And because I absolutely LOVE spending it with family relaxing around the house with all the decorations, music playing, and holiday movies . . . that I view their sacrifice as exceptional.

But in my conversations with Martha – one of the family members who started this blessed custom about ten years ago – she says they see it as a simple act of charity. They don’t view it as any more special than donating used clothing to the Salvation Army. They have a lot of fun cooking for everyone and providing a special meal on a very special day – Christmas. A meal these folks wouldn’t have a chance to otherwise enjoy.

I say this is an example of the true meaning of Christmas in action; an exceptional example of Christmas spirit. An example of Christian charity and of doing as our Savior wants us to do. Yes, Martha and her extended family are reminders to me of giving generously of yourself.

How do you help others at Christmas? Please share your inspiring story by adding a comment below.

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