Christmas is slim this year. We had ours early–one big gift so we can get equipment that we need that will be used time and time again. Upgrades are easier to buy than starting from fresh. With IBM offering 25,000 jobs after meeting with President-elect Trump, the economy still feels as if it is rock bottom for us non-profits. Contentment though doesn’t need a lot to be happy.
I’ve always said, Christmas is too commercialized, from Black Friday to Christmas decorations that get put out before Halloween. The tide is turning. 45 stores were closed on Thanksgiving. REI Co-op encouraged people to get outside again this year with their ingenious social media marketing plan, “Will You Go Out With Me?”
We need a bad economy and less money to realize the importance of God and people. Prosperity is always nice and less stressful, but you can forget God. You can also forget the heavy weight of responsibility on the shoulders of those blessed with much. We aren’t meant to hoard our blessings.
Christmas was also not meant to be once a year, but every day for the rest of our lives–living a spirit of generosity. This is why every year we have a Christmas tradition of buying a cup of hot cocoa or coffee for Salvation Army Bell Ringers. They stand outside ringing a bell for hours. Anyone who has to listen to a bell for that long deserves a hot cocoa or coffee, especially on a cold day. Generosity can also be about giving of your time.
I’ve noticed how over-scheduled we are as Americans. Foreigners know us as impatient and in a hurry. Making time for people is not our strength. It’s something we need to work on as Americans. As an over-scheduled and impatient American, the first step towards cleaning up our reputation is attending ERAU’s International Festival on February 25 and the rest of their open-to-the public events.
My goal and hope is to help international students with their needs as newbies in America. With my motor vehicle and administration background, I can help international students with what is needed to integrate here, help them make new friends, and understand English so they can graduate.