A Christmas Carol

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Indeed, Christmas is! Imagine all the glittering lights on the Christmas trees and everywhere around you, people giving gifts and exchanging cards, families gathered together on Christmas Eve with food on the table, firecrackers flying, coloring and lighting up the sky, all noises made to celebrate Christmas, and last but not the least, a Christmas carol being sung by everyone. Wow! Just wow!

That is everyone’s idea of Christmas. But sad to say, not everyone this year 2020 would have that kind of Merry Christmas. The pandemic has changed Christmas this year for some of us. Most of us have lost our job which is the source of our income to support our daily necessities. Added to that, many businesses especially the small businesses have shut up their operations. The worst thing that happened, many families have lost their loved ones. Another worst, many of us suffered depression causing us to lose hope in life already.

Thinking about it, how sad Christmas would be for some of us. Some people became poor and the poor became poorer. But is there a thing that we can do to make their weary hearts rejoice this Christmas? 

Of course, there is! Christmas as mentioned above should be the happiest time of the year for all of us that is why we wouldn’t let a blue Christmas happen to those people greatly affected by the pandemic. We can make someone happy in our own little ways of kindness, of generosity, of charity, and of goodwill.

I remember way back my high school years, I joined a religious group – a Student Action group. During Christmas that year, our group planned to do some good deeds that will benefit those people who are less privileged in life, and we came up with the idea of doing a Christmas Carol.

Yes, that was a brilliant idea that we came up with. We planned to do the Christmas caroling to the less privileged ones or those people that we thought really needed our help. 

Oh, why are you raising your eyebrows? You are confused, right? Is it because I said we will help the less privileged ones by doing Christmas Carol, but your question is why are doing the Christmas Carol to them instead of to those more privileged people that would surely can give us something in return for our caroling?

Yeah, I understand you. Don’t you worry, we didn’t ask anything from those less privileged people in exchange for our Christmas Carols. So, let me explain our good deeds that Christmas. What we did was before we set out to go to our beneficiaries, we bought some food items and other necessity items and packed them into a bundle of gifts and we made sure that every less privileged person or family that we sing a Christmas carol will receive the humble gifts that we prepared.

Did you get it now? Yes, I know, that was such an awesome good deed right? I am so proud of it that even in our small acts of mercy and compassion, we were to make someone smile, to make someone happy, and to make some’s heart leap with joy.

You know what, I felt a lot of pain when we did that good deed because each time we sing a Christmas Carol to a less privilege one, they would turn their backs and refuse us because they said they don’t have money or anything to give to us in exchange, but when we told them that we just wanted to sing to them a Christmas song and that we wouldn’t ask anything in return, they felt shy and so touched. 

The most painful part was when after we sang the Christmas Carol, we handed gifts to them, and you know what their reaction was? They burst out crying. I really felt that pain – that kind of pain that seeing them cry because they receive something after being sang by a Christmas song, I knew that they were very much happy and grateful because they needed and somebody cared to give.

That time, I wished I could give more. Their words of thanksgiving while tears were flowing from their eyes was hardest to witness and listen to but at the same time, even though I felt that pain struck in my heart, I also felt that genuine and priceless happiness because I knew for sure, we made someone’s heart happy at that time. I knew that the little act of kindness that we did brighten up and lighten up their Christmas.

I can’t forget that particular old woman told us her story about why she was lonely and celebrating a blue Christmas. She said a fire broke down their home and they weren’t able to save any possessions that they have. She was bursting in tears and we were carried away too. 

Actually, we saw her sitting  beside her burned house.  She was so sad and she could be seen staring at nothingness – at a blank space. That was the reason why we chose her and came to her to sing a Christmas carol because we had already a hint that she needed to smile even just a bit and we did it. 

She did smile so happily. She said she was so so sad and lonely and when she heard us sing a Christmas Carol, her weary heart rejoiced and jumped with so much joy and gladness. She can’t  believe that although she said she is poor, someone would sing a Christmas carol for her. She even grabbed a penny from her pocket and handed it to us saying that that was the only money she had. We were so touched and embraced her. We said that she didn’t need to give us anything because that Christmas carol was a gift to her and then we handed our bundle of joy to her.

See? You cannot really judge a person by his/her status in life because even the less privileged people, knowing that they have only less in life are still willing to give the less that they have just like that old woman. 

The greatest lessons I have learned in that Christmas activity that we had was that you can give without expecting anything in return but still you can be happiest and that happiness that you will feel is genuine and priceless. Also, I have learned that even a small act of kindness can have a big impact in someone’s life. Who knows by your small act of kindness it can give hope to a hopeless heart. 

The last thing is that led by the example of that old woman in my story, all of us, no matter where we are in life and what we have in life, we always have something to share, to give and to offer and it will always count and impact someone’s life. 

So, now we can never say anymore that we can’t help because we have only less – no my friend, that less you have can mean big to a needed stranger.

Imagine when we give, we share and we help the needed ones, can you imagine how a smile can be painted on their faces? That would be the most wonderful painting that you can ever paint in your whole life, and that is priceless!

Indeed, we can make this Christmas 2020 still the most wonderful time of the year for all of us. We don’t need to be rich. We don’t need to be influential. We don’t need to be famous. We don’t need to be powerful. All we needed was a heart willing to give. Our kindness could warm a cold and frozen heart.

This Christmas, let us not be greedy and selfish of what we have because after all, all that we have are not ours, all of that were gifts from the above and we leave this world we cannot carry of that possession but only our souls.

This Christmas, let us care. Let us put away all our indifference and lack of consideration for our fellow beings who are in deep need.

This Christmas 2020, let us offer our own version of “ A Christmas Carol” and make this a joyful and memorable season for all of us.

“While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things are extraordinary.”                  – Matt Bevin

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