Do your children write letters to Santa Claus?
According to the U.S. Postal Service, millions do, and based on a review of those received thus far, many of them this year are asking for “essentials” instead of just games and toys.
As reported in last Wednesday’s USA Today:
At New York City’s main post office, Head Elf Pete Fontana and 22 staff elves will sort 2 million letters in Operation Santa, which connects needy children with “Secret Santas” who answer their wishes.
Fontana, a customer relations coordinator for the Postal Service, has been head elf for 15 years.
“The need is greater this year than I’ve ever seen it,” he says. “One little girl didn’t want anything for herself. She wanted a winter coat for her mother.”
That really grabs at your heartstrings, doesn’t it?
Another letter included requests for underwear and clothing, but at the very end, the children’s single mother had scrawled the following postscript:
“I want them to know there is hope.”
If that doesn’t say it all.
As believers in Jesus Christ, hope is the very thing we can bring to those in need. We can (and should) give a bowl of soup to the physically hungry, but we can’t stop there. Since only the Lord can satiate the soul who searches, we must deliberately point people to Him.
As tough as these time are, I think we would be wise to remember that the Lord uses everything for His glory and our good. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that priorities have shifted from the luxurious to the essential. As mom and dads, don’t forget that our kids likely won’t remember (or care) what we spent on a gift, but they’ll surely remember how much time we spent with them.
To this point, I really appreciate what Heather wrote in response to my blog, It’s a Wonderful Life:
I would love to donate but we have nothing to give this year. I can only offer my prayers and love to people. So many families are going through hard times this year.
We have been taking advantage of being together as a family. Extra Cuddling and Loves goes allot further than toys. Baking Cookies, taking a walk or short ride to look at Christmas Lights or the whole family watching a movie together….
Heather, I’m sorry to hear the margins are thin this year, but it’s encouraging to know that you can see the upside to a tough time. In the process, you’re making wonderful memories that will never wear thin – or out. Thanks for reading and for your friendship with Focus. May God bless your family!
Regardless of what is – or isn’t – under your tree this year, I pray that we’ll embrace and treasure the time we spend around it.
Life is short and often tough – but God is forever good.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel.