“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” ‘” William Blake
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in New York City. As you walk down the streets in Midtown Manhattan, the store windows are all decorated with the most beautiful of colors and bright lights. The streets are flooded with people all with bags with Christmas designs on it.
At first I was not really in the spirit because it is a little early to think of a holiday that is over a month away. But then, I decided today to take a stroll down 34th street and my body became magnetized to the Macy’s window. I stopped and stared and my heart was lifted up from the beauty of what I saw.
I was moved by the sparkling stars in each of the windows, but it was one window in particular that changed my heart and now, all of a sudden, I am in the spirit. The window featured a scene from one of my favorite Christmas movies, “The Miracle on 34th Street.” It was the scene when the Letters to Santa were delivered to the court room and overflowing before the judge. The vision of it was met with openness and warmth.
Each year letters to Santa are sent by children everywhere. And every year, the USPS receives millions of letters which generous givers take home with them to send the gift that the children ask for. Some do it as a group, filling up boxes and sending it to the requestor while some do it individually.
I’ve done both: with a group and individually. A couple of years back, I found a really interesting letter to Santa and took it. The letter asked for not just toys, but for basic necessities like socks, toothpaste, soap and lotion. I prepared a box and sent it for them. A few days later, I received a letter of thanks. That was something I did not expect but was happy to know that they were not just people who wanted things but people who appreciated things as well.
“A gift opens the way of the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great.” ‘” Psalm 18:16
Ironically, the story didn’t end there. Apparently, they think I am Santa Claus because now every year, I receive a nice little letter to Santa Claus, in my name from them requesting things that reads, Dear Santa. I am not mad or upset. I think it is somewhat funny. But it goes to show you that there are other people who need things more than us. The procedure at the USPS is a bit lengthy, but there is an unexplainable joy that you receive by giving just to give.
Maybe answering one of the many letters to Santa Claus is not for you. There are other things you can do to help someone else. ToysforTots is a not-for-profit organization which collects toys to distribute to poor and needy children. Maybe you could drop off a toy to your local Toys R Us for them. For more information on ToysforTots, visit http://www.toysfortots.org/
Maybe you would rather help an adult. How about donating your old coat? If you are not going to use it anymore, rather than throw it in the garbage, why not stop by one of the many locations New York Cares has set up to receive used coats that are still in good condition. You can also stop by your local police department and drop your old coats off there. For more information on donating your old, used and still in good condition coats, visit http://blog.newyorkcares.org/?cat=6 Might come in handy for someone who doesn’t have one.
Have you considered donating blood to your local American Red Cross blood donation center. The NY Blood Center is always seeking volunteers willing to give a pint of their blood away to someone who is in need of blood. If this is something you might be interested in, find out more information by visiting http://www.nybloodcenter.org/index.jsp.
Or better yet, donate money to the victims of the earthquake and cholera in Haiti. Some of those people have been living in tents since that dreadful day in January 2010. If you are interested in donating, visit the partners in Health website at http://www.pih.org/ for more information. Make this season a true season of giving by giving to someone who really needs.