Tam Warner Minton is an enthusiastic midlife adventurer who loves to scuba dive, travel, and explore the world. For Tam, the unexpected is usually the norm! You can find her travels and life journeys at Travels With Tam.
Our family has always celebrated Christmas in a big way. Some would say in an excessive manner. But I ask, what is wrong with excess (tempered by reason, of course)? I LOVE buying people gifts, and there is nothing more exciting for me than to watch them open. I love decorating (I usually have 3 Christmas trees along with Hanukkah decorations), I love wrapping, I enjoy giving. Doing a BIG Christmas comes from a lifetime of tradition.
My grandmother’s house was tiny, but at Christmas, the gifts were piled so high they were almost over our heads! Some of the most magical moments of my life were spent in that tiny house at Christmas time…it was crowded with family, smelled heavenly from the almost constant Kentucky cooking, and the Christmas tree was always a marvel to us.
My parents always had a huge Christmas for my brother and I as well, and my brother was constantly sneaking around trying to find all of his gifts before they were wrapped. I wanted to be surprised so I rarely looked. I have always loved the anticipation of Christmas morning! These family traditions mean the world to me, but I never forget that there are those who will receive little, or nothing at all. Our world, so full of wonder and beauty, is also sadly filled with those who are much less fortunate. There are causes everywhere, and many of them are worthy of our consideration. All through the year we must be conscious of those less fortunate, but at Christmas, at Hanukkah, there is simply no question that we must reach out and give to those in need. I cannot bear the thought of a child waking up on Christmas morning without having a present.
Every year we participate in providing for a family. We have chosen the Genesis Women’s Shelter for abused women. The holidays must be so difficult for a traumatized mother and her children…it is so hard to imagine. Women’s shelters are always in need, but especially during the holidays. In Dallas, we adopt a Genesis Shelter family for the holidays. We provide gifts and necessities for that family, and send food to the North Texas Food Bank. I urge you to do the same, wherever you live. What a wonderful lesson for your children or grandchildren. I used to take my kids shopping and let them choose toys for our “family.” They sometimes came with me to drop the gifts off. Yes, we have an excessive Christmas, but I make sure it is not a selfish Christmas. By giving, we enhance not only the lives of others, but also our own lives.
This year, spread good cheer by giving to others! Make it a family activity…you’ll be glad you did!