Growing up, Christmas was all about getting presents from my family. Sure, my family made it clear that it was Jesus’ birthday but I always made it all about me and what I was going to get under the tree. For some reason, once the presents were unwrapped, that happiness it provided me only lasted me a few days, maybe a few months if the presents were reeeally good. I never received anything that gave me lasting happiness.
It wasn’t until Christmas of 2014 that I realized I had it all wrong. This is the season of giving. Last Christmas, I wasn’t able to spend Christmas with my family so I chose to spend it volunteering at a homeless shelter. It was the first Christmas where I was giving my love, time, and energy to help those in need. Being there with the people that were grateful for what they were being given made me feel something that was so much better than receiving anything I ever dreamed of for Christmas. It gave me a sense of joy, comfort, and peace. I can’t remember what I got for Christmas last year but I will never forget the smiles I saw at the shelter, and the feeling of fulfillment it gave me.
Sometimes, when I get everything I want, I end up feeling like crap. It’s almost like I have nothing left to look forward to, and I’m just this spoiled brat that has everything but still feels like I need more. I can tell you, getting everything you want in the world may give you temporary happiness but it won’t give you lasting joy! If you’ve been feeling down about the holidays, try GIVING, without expecting anything in return. If you can’t give physical objects, give your love, energy, and your time! I promise that if you give, you will find true joy and happiness.