What's a holiday party without shrimp cocktail? Here's a twist on the classic, direct from the Arctic.
Giving in Return.
You know how, in some schools, you say the pledge of allegiance to your country’s flag?
Well, at the North Pole, elves in training learn the Pledge, but they also learn the North Pole Motto - "It is in giving that we receive." Think about it. We work all year to make sure there is enough to give to others at Christmastime.
That may not make sense at first, but I'll tell you one simple way you can come to understand the motto's meaning.
Last week, I wrote about what you "get" for Christmas and the difference between "wanting" and "needing" something.
This week, as we count down the last days on our calendars, I would like you to try something.
I want you to look at your belongings. Belongings are toys that you don't play with any more or clothes that don't fit you any more, because you're growing up.
Pick out those belongings that you no longer want to keep and donate them to someone else. You can do this before or after Christmas.
Why do this?
You will make more room for anything new to you under the Christmas tree, yes.
But, more importantly, you will be providing a "new" toy or piece of clothing for someone who did not have it before. Chances are this person can use the clothing or play with the toy.
I know that there are some of you out there who will say to a grownup in your life, "What's Eddie Elf talking about? It's not "new" if it was mine first!"
Well, whether something is brand "new" or just "new to you", it will provide the person who receives the donation with the same feeling. This feeling is one that you know: joy, happiness, thankfulness. You're glad to know that someone thinks enough of you to remember you with a gift. In this case, the gift is a donation.
Now, we elves are more than generous with each other at Christmas. There are so many of us and so many toys and presents up here that we never run out of ways to exchange things we no longer use with each other.
In your neighborhood, perhaps your church, community center or social agency collects donations. They find people who need or want your donations.
It's something you can talk about with a grownup in your life. The grownup can help you select your donations and bring them to the place to drop them off.
While it is truly wonderful to "get" presents, the best feeling in the world is to "give" of yourself to others. Donating your old toys and clothes that still have usefulness in them is a simple way you can do this. Now, get busy and see what you can find.
Now, we elves will be putting in double shifts until Santa and Rudolph take off on Christmas Eve with the other reindeer on the sleigh team. I won't have time to write again. As I sign off, I want to say that I have been privileged to write this weekly column to you this holiday season.
I wish you, your family, and friends a very blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.
I am looking forward to seeing what you give and receive this Christmas. Remember to say "thank you" and use your best manners. That's a slam-dunk to make it from the naughty list to the nice list.
Remember, keep a smile on your face and keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart the whole year-round.
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