There once was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family's only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.
As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten the money to buy what was in the shoebox.
Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, "This is for you, Daddy!"
As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.
But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. "Don't you know, young lady," he said harshly, "when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside the package!"
The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: "Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full."
The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.
An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
And isn't this the complete and true meaning of Christmas? We all have so much love to give, so much potential to share. The unconditional love we could be giving to the people who need it most is often times brushed aside by the hustle and bustle of Christmas hurry, trying to find the perfect materialistic gift for the ones we love. We all very much take for granted the most important gifts we could be not only giving but receiving as well.
Paying attention to these gifts will help you understand what Christmas is all about. You never know when you will lose someone very close to you. Do not ever pass up the opportunity to share your love and appreciation to those who mean the most to you. Simple things such as these will make all the difference in the lives of others and your own life as well. Not only can you extend your love to those who are close family and friends but with people in need, who have no one, no where to go, no one to care for or to love.
Everyone wants to be wanted and loved. Nobody wants to feel alone or useless, especially during the most exciting season of the year. So many opportunities are passed by when we only think about ourselves. Rather than getting caught up in the crowd around Christmas time, look for the ones who stand alone. Who have no one to share this season with. They, are often times the one who need your love most. Christmas is not as much about opening presents as opening our hearts.
No matter who you are, where you are going, or where you are from, you will always find people who are lost and confused and who are waiting for just one person to step into their lives and make all the difference.
Perfect opportunities as these always seem show up more often around the Christmas season. But this does not mean you cannot keep the spirit of loving and extending a warm welcoming hand throughout the year. Its just the perfect season to begin.
Stay Smiling, You never know whose life you will change!