The Giving Season

The Giving Season…

Christmas is on its way. And while this was always one of my favorite holidays growing up, I’m sad to say the past few years I just haven’t gotten nearly as excited about it as I used to. It’s my fault, really. We have a family birthday in December now, which throws me off a bit. I tend to get caught up in Thanksgiving, hurry to throw together birthday festivities, and then boom—Christmas is upon us.

So this year I wanted it to be different. This year, I wanted to try and rediscover the magic. And I’m happy to say, I took a great first step last weekend.

Yep, the day before December, I took our firstborn to a Christmas concert. I was a little hesitant—was afraid I’d OD on the holidays before they even arrived. But then Josh Wilson and Wes Pickering came out and performed their NOEL show, and it was absolutely amazing.

jw_christmasbanner

All I could say at the end was wow. Just…wow. And my son? LOVED it.

There must have been at least twenty different instruments on stage, and between the two men, all were played. They did this cool thing called “live looping” (see great video explaining it by Josh himself here), so they’d play a few bars on one instrument, record it, then keep that recording “looping” over and over as they added more bars from other instruments. And it was just the two of them!

My son was amazed. Me? Even more so. I’ve attempted to play a few of those instruments, and the men on stage were nothing less than spectacular at everything they touched.

Me? Jealous? Maybe just a tad. 😉

But what really got my Christmas heart jump started was one of the songs Josh wrote that’s on his new NOEL album called “Once a Year” they performed that night. It touched on something I’ve been hearing a lot lately, and it kinda hit home for me. The chorus goes like this:

“Once a year, December’s here,
And our hearts open up.
Once a year, we give with cheer,
To those who don’t have enough.
And wouldn’t it be something,
If we all learned to love
Like it’s Christmas more than once a year.”

More than once a year.

How true those first few lines can be! We get so caught up in Christmas, racing from store to store, or website to website, trying to find just the right gifts for friends and loved ones so this Christmas will be the most amazing yet. But in all that hustle and bustle, we’re losing sight of the real reason for Christmas—the birth of Christ, which leads to His defeat of death, and the hope He brings.

Hope, peace and joy. Not just in December, but all year round. That’s what we need to search for, and what we’re called to share.

This December, by all means give. But don’t stop there. Give in January. And February. And all throughout the year.

And not just money—I’m not encouraging you all to go bankrupt! There are other ways to give, ways that for some may go a whole lot further than a handful of change.

Give warm smiles. Comforting hugs. Words of encouragement, or be silent and lend an ear. Be there for those who need you, and walk away from those who don’t. Because giving isn’t just about packages, boxes and bows—it’s about joy—something we all deserve.

As we near Christmas Day, I pray that you all have a very merry one. May you give to your heart’s content, and may you be blessed to receive the love of those around you as well. Me? I’ll be doing my best to give, give, give, and find creative ways to do so.

And maybe if I do a really good job, Santa will bring me a new guitar. Because after watching Josh up on stage, I’m dying to give that instrument another try. Thank you, Mr. Wilson, for the inspiration and encouragement this Christmas.

What are some of the ways you would like to GIVE this coming year?

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