Its taken two years, and this Christmas I finally got to spend it with 300 homeless / disadvantaged / victims of domestic violence. A lot of them have had the toughest year of their life and I have been determined to make a difference.
My opportunity to help came and I took it. I know what it’s like to go through really hard times and I feel that this has given me the tools to help others. So, no more excuses, this Christmas has become everything I dreamed it could be.
After a bit of planning, what followed was the best Christmas Day I have ever had. I changed what Christmas meant to me and I want to share that gift with all of you. I want you to have the best Christmas Day ever, as well as learn some valuable lessons that will change your perspective.
Here’s why this year’s Christmas Day was the best ever and this is how you can replicate it:
Show that strangers care.
At the Christmas lunch I volunteered at to serve those in need, I heard a story of a little boy whose mum was the victim of domestic violence. She has nothing and her boy doesn’t have much of a Christmas. His one wish was to be able to go to soccer practice with a pair of boots and a ball.
I decided to buy him both these presents to show him that strangers care. It’s not about the gift that I gave him – what I wanted him to see was that strangers care. This gift gives him the ability to have hope that his family’s situation can change.
During the Christmas lunch, one of the volunteers tipped off this little boy’s mother and told her that I had bought the gifts for her son. Unexpectedly, she came over and hugged me. She was very emotional and thanked me for helping.
I didn’t want thanks and I told her so politely. I told her one thing:
“What I’ve done is show you that strangers care. You don’t need to thank me. What you must do when you are able to, is pay it forward.”
I wanted her to understand that giving is about sharing the message and doing the same for others who need help. This one lesson was the highlight of my Christmas Day.
Replicating my Christmas Day requires you not to give blindly to a charity, but to get out there and show your face and help people. The best gifts you can give are your time, your advice, your kindness and your faith in humanity.
Make Christmas Day about somebody other than you.
Without a doubt, my Christmas Day was the best ever because I made it about someone other than myself. Every other year has been about what I want and what will make me happy. The decisions I have made on previous Christmas’s have been self-centered and that’s hard to admit.
This year, I made Christmas about helping those who have nothing. It took the focus away from me and put the spotlight on somebody else and how I could make their day awesome. Seeing others happy on Christmas is what made me feel so good and words can’t describe it.
Replicating my Christmas Day starts with taking the focus off yourself.
Forget the word “SHOPPING.”
Don’t let any day of the year determine your spending habits or make you spend money. I did zero Christmas shopping this year and chose to buy a few things for strangers instead. Not because I needed to demonstrate that gifts matters, but because the gift I gave these people in need, was hope.
Shopping benefits business and does very little to help the average person. The only gift I got this Christmas was a handmade card, and it was so special and cost zero dollars.
Replicating my Christmas Day involves ditching the whole idea of shopping.
Think about the presents you’ve received in the past.
I’m willing to bet that most of the gifts you’ve received on Christmas in the past never got used or at the very least, never made you happy. Ask yourself “Do I really need another gift?”
I can guarantee you the answer is no. You don’t need gifts to have self-worth. The number of gifts or the dollar value of the gifts you get does not validate who you are. Most of us have more than what we need.
Replicating my Christmas Day involves rethinking the idea of gifts.
See the good in people.
Many people at the Christmas lunch I volunteered at were from questionable backgrounds. Some had been in prison and many were addicted to illegal drugs. Seeing the good in everyone on Christmas allows you to be compassionate and help others to see what’s possible.
I saw my job on Christmas as not looking down on people. I made it my job to see the best in people despite where they’ve come from.
Replicating my Christmas Day involves you seeing the potential for everyone to be good.
Consider what you eat on Christmas.
Is stuffing your face really required? All of us already consume far too many calories. Instead of overindulging on heaps of food while others starve, could you not try something else?
Many of the people I spent Christmas lunch with wondered why I didn’t have any food. The reason was because I wanted them to eat and to resist the temptation of falling for the idea that Christmas should be about overeating.
Replicating my Christmas Day involves giving a meal to someone who really needs it.
Forget everything you know about Christmas.
That’s what I did this year. I wanted to see if there was another way to think about this special day and I experimented with every aspect of Christmas to challenge the status quo. The end result showed me that what I thought Christmas was, was in fact completely wrong.
I’d been programmed to follow what everyone else did without knowing why. I changed that why and I recommend you do the same. Christmas can be magical if you turn the whole idea on its head and question everything you thought you knew prior.
It’s time to live the real meaning of Christmas. I want all of you to experiment next Christmas.
Live the true meaning of Christmas. Make a difference. Inspire strangers.