Monday, December 26, 2016

How to Make a Return on our Gifts this Christmas?

Though the bills may still need to be paid, at least the shopping is complete :)
Here's an inspiring 3-minute video reminder of what Christmas means moving forward:
The Jesus Memo!


We have celebrated Jesus' birth again this year, in the hopes of opening the door of our hearts to Christ in new ways. We have tried to offer the beloved Son the best of ourselves, in the hopes that he will multiply our meager gifts and talents for the greater glory of his Father and our Father.

But what should we do about all the extra stuff that has accumulated once again?  How might we make a "return" on our gifts this Christmas season?

What if we clear out something old to make room for each new item?  St. Vincent de Paul stores and customers would certainly be grateful!

Might it be possible to re-gift a new but not necessary item in a suitable and discreet way, of course--in the hopes of turning the treasure shared into an even greater gift for those who are in desperate need?  Not the kind of re-gifting that can hurt feelings or prove embarrassing, but a re-directing to a worthy cause.

In perfect time for the Christmas season wrap-up, Catholic Relief Services has prepared an invitation to Donate to Iraqi Families and Syrian Refugees.

What if we translate ten percent of the gift cards we received toward a donation for those who face brutal conditions at this very moment?  Or how about re-calibrating some of our returns and store credits to help cover regular weekly expenses, and then translating at least a portion into help for families in dire need?

To do so need not mean that we feel guilty for our surfeit.  On the contrary, it would be to recognize the fact that "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more" (Lk 12:48).

To do so would also become a small step toward breaking the cycle of violence and desperation.  It would help demonstrate that we "got" the Jesus Memo!