Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Time

The Christmas season is a time when people and communities come together to celebrate the past year and the bird of Jesus. Also know as the giving season, Christmas time highlights those who care about others and help those who are less fortunate. Sadly, people have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, and have become wrapped up in what costly gifts they will be receiving. My recent tour to see the Christmas lights in Hampden reminded me that the season of Christmas doesn’t require lots of money to be spent on gifts. The most important thing is to celebrate with the ones you love and to give gifts that truly mean something and will make others happy.

On Monday night, my FE 100 class spent the night by going to dinner and walking through “Miracle on 34th Street” in Hampden to enjoy the Christmas lights. The street of houses spends a great amount of time hanging Christmas lights and decorations for the city of Baltimore to view, and even for people all over the world. It looked somewhat like a giant carnival with all of the lights. Strands of lights even hung across the street from house to house. My favorite decoration was a giant Ferris wheel that had different winter animals riding it. Even though it was absolutely freezing, the sight really put me in the Christmas spirit.

At dinner, my advisor, Sara Scalzo, talked about the effort and hard work put into the decorations. She explained to us that the street of houses gives up a lot to put these lights up. They don’t have the best style living, and with these lights, their electricity bills are high around Christmas time. Despite the cost, they continue to celebrate the Christmas season with their lights for the city to see and enjoy.

Seeing these lights reminded me of the importance of the Christmas season. It isn’t about giving expensive gifts. It is simply about celebrating the season as a community. In high school, one program I was in charge of was Adopt A Family. Each grade was assigned a family and was required to bring in gifts throughout December to give to their family for Christmas. Every student, including myself, felt such a great sense of giving during this activity. For me, my experience with this was even more rewarding. I was able to deliver some of the gifts to the families, and to see their reactions and gratitude was unexplainable. At that point in time, I realized that even through giving, the feeling you get in return is sometimes so much greater then receiving a material present.

I feel that the residents on this street of lights truly enjoy the Christmas season for all the right reasons. They must enjoy the feeling of giving to the community, even though they might now have a lot. Just to see people viewing and enjoying the attraction they created must give them a sense of what Christmas is really about. As Christmas approaches, we must make sure we don’t lose sight of what Christmas is supposed to mean, and focus on helping those around us who might now be as fortunate. We mustn’t worry about the gifts we are receiving, but worry about the gifts we are giving and the effects they will have on the people around us.

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