Embrace the Christmas in yourself.

Today is officially my favorite day of the year.

This is my favorite day every year. No it’s not the date, or the weekend, or even the same day every year. Today is the day I got to shop for my Salvation Army Angel Tree Child.

These days (and I’m guilty too), it is so easy to get caught up in what we want. I want Kate Spade, I want pearls, I want whatever whatever whatever. And yes, there are things I would like to have. But I am adult. I can understand reason, I get that gifts don’t have to come on Christmas.

I also get that for a child, Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanza, or whatever other winter holiday you choose) is a magical day. Where you celebrate whatever story you’ve chosen as the truth and this magical man named Santa Clause rewards you for a year of hard work and good behavior. It’s a special day. Regardless of your religious or cultural affiliation, it’s a celebration of family, and love, and sharing with one another.

EVERY child deserves to experience the magic of Christmas. As someone who was at one point the recipient of gifts from programs and people just like the ones participating in the Angel Tree, I can tell you that it made the difference between having a Christmas and not having one. It was the reason I could return to school excited to talk to my friends about break. Now my mother never specifically told me this, but I know. Because she was just as surprised and excited as I was.

So each year, about this time, I give that gift to a child. The ability to be just like everyone else – even if times are a little rough. And I forget about myself. Even if it’s just for a little while, I put someone I don’t know entirely above myself. This year I chose a boy for the first time ever. Samarrian is 5 1/2 years old. Likes batman, football, and action figures. And even though I’m buying him gifts, he is my angel. He is part of my family now. Part of my heart. And every year I will remember him. Just as I do the others. And every year I will pray for him. And hope that I made a little difference in his life.

So as this holiday season ramps up in these last few weeks before Christmas, remember the true meaning. Remember the people who can’t do what you can. Share where you can, when you can. And ALWAYS, even if you have $0 in your bank account, share your love. Tell people you care. Make this season count.

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