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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Reason for the Season of Christmas (12/04/08)

TITLE: "Look Outside the Box"
By Judy Meyers
12/06/08


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I opened my mail box and pulled out what seemed to be an armload of bills and catalogs. I stood at the counter and pitched the junk mail. But, I was still loaded with materials I would have to look through when I finally made it home.

I dreaded these days. I hated opening the credit cared statements and finding, once again, how much interest I was being charged because my cards were so maxed out. How in the world did it ever get like this? Iím a smart person. I know that if I donít have the money in the bank that I am not suppose to keep charging without paying the card off each month. Emergencies plague me.

Now, right before the end of the year I have presents to buy and taxes to pay. When will I ever get on top of this situation? I would have to use my credit card to join a stress management seminar.

I buried my head in my hands on my desk. Sobbing would get me nothing. Who would even want to listen to my woes? I canít blame God. I got myself into this situation.

It would be easier for everyone concerned if I just left. If I could run away, I could leave all this mess for someone else to have. Christmas is coming and I dread it. I wouldnít say that Iím a ďScrooge.Ē No, I am the complete opposite. I am a giver. I want to give. I want to shower my family and friends and co-workers with wonderful presents. Thatís what I have done for so many years and then I spend two years paying for it. I could use my ability in crafts. Yeah, right! Everyone loves those little I-made-it-myself gifts.

My thoughts are interrupted by a commercial on television. ďCome to our special dinner that we are having for our partners.Ē It was a shelter for the homeless. They were inviting people who had been supporting them to come to a special night of honor. I had heard of this shelter many times and wondered what they actually do for the homeless. The commercial continued to explain the special night. ďPlease bring a package with you for these people. We need for you to bring a bar of soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, Kleenex, two disposable razors, and a small bottle of shampoo. We also need hundreds of toys for the children.Ē

My first thought was to create my own commercial and have people send funds to my door. If I donít pay my bills and if I donít get my mortgage payment paid, Iíll be homeless too. Why not just save the shelter some trouble and Iíll go stand on the corner with my own little red bucket.

Why are so many people homeless anyway? I do have a job. What makes a person homeless? Canít they work? Canít they find something that will start giving them money and work their way out of their mess? I felt no compassion. I worked hard all of my life and now I am almost homeless.

I lost myself if curiosity. The best way for me to find out what this whole homeless business was all about was to see for myself. I would gather up some of the toys my children didnít play with anymore. I could certainly get a few packages of the toiletries together. I was going to go to that special dinner. I wasnít a partner but they had opened it up to everyone.

Along with seven other people, I sat watching the many faces of those that were the recipients of our packages and toys. Children were smiling and hugging the toys they had received. It didnít matter that these toys had once belonged to someone else. Gray bearded men were happily taking their little care package and exhibiting a toothless grin. I became embarrassed. These people were not worried about tomorrow. These children felt safe and secure in the surroundings. The atmosphere was charged with excitement. My own attitude had an adjustment. I found myself right in the middle of the Christmas spirit. I forgot my own circumstances and spent the rest of the evening talking to the people and playing with the children. Surely, this is the reason for the Christmas season. This night became a reminder of how blessed I truly was and that the most important thing I could give was myself.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 12/13/08
So true! But it's the hardest thing to give when we don't make the time to do it. Thanks for this gentle reminder to look for ways to give of ourselves first.
Marlene Austin12/16/08
This story certainly fit its title. Hope the MC gets the finances under control. :)