Thursday, December 23, 2021


Years ago, an elder gave me advice: "Be generous all year."


Now it's December 23, 2021. My wife and I are at home, preparing for Christmas day with decorating, cooking and  enjoying Christmas lighting in the neighborhood.

All of a sudden a passenger van arrives at our house door. Three small children (pre-school to first grade) and their mother pop into the entryway when we respond to the doorbell.  "Oh, how great to see you!" we proclaim. This is a mom and her three kids we've seen on the sidewalk many times over the past three years. They live in a nearby neighborhood and have passed by our house on their walks. Over several months, we said "hi" to them many times.

On one of their walks months ago, they were caught in a drenching downpour of rain. To get some shelter, they stopped under a tree just outside of our property. My wife saw them standing there; they seemed miserable. She invited them to come to our garage for shelter from the rain. As the rain continued, we three adults (their mom, my wife and I) chatted and the kids played. Then, as suddenly as it had arrived, the rain stopped and they were on their way home.

Today, at 11:00 a.m., Dec. 23, 2021, a family van pulled onto our driveway and the three kids and mom gathered at our porch. Lucy went to the door.  "Oh, hi!" "So great to see you!" They entered, all enthused and happy.

Lucy was ready. She gave them cookies. In exchange, the mom gave Lucy a small white bag containing cookies. Fine, fine reunion of friends. We'd favored them once long ago. Ever since that rainstorm event, they've visited us. But this Christmas meet-up and exchange of gifts of cookies was special. The three kids walked to the far side of the living room to explore our Christmas tree ornaments. When they saw an angel or a star that attracted them, they poked it and watched it wing on its string. Laughter and happiness prevailed.

Simply in visiting us, they further cemented the family friendship and truly rewarded us for giving them something--shelter--in a springtime rain storm years ago.

If you're generous, you'll be rewarded.  Be generous. At Christmas. And all year.



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