By David Tosh

Well, here it is again – that time of the year everyone looks forward to. For those of us who are serious collectors, it’s a time to put away our personal want lists and find out what those around us are wanting. Even men who do not like to shop (especially the man writing this), can enjoy going out and buying presents for those treasured friends and beloved family members. Nothing warms the heart more than the joy of giving, which makes this the most joyous time of year.

For most of us, that is.

I remember a number of years back, when I was working for a large printing company with offices near downtown Dallas. It was Christmas Eve, and all my fellow workers were hurriedly wrapping up their daily tasks and heading out early to be with their families. For some reason, I was one of the last to leave that day, and as I drove away from the building, I happened to notice something. Under one of the big major overpasses, there were a number of people huddled around a big metal barrel with fire shooting from the top, trying to stay warm. I thought about how sad it was to be homeless on such a night, to have nothing to look forward to the next day. No big turkey dinner. No pecan pie for desert. No brightly lit Christmas tree with colorfully wrapped presents. For them, Christmas would be just another day of existence.

But then it dawned on me that, although I had a warm home to return to, I had no family waiting for me there. This was a number of years before I was married, and at the time, I didn’t have a girlfriend or even a roommate to keep me company that night. My parents and extended family were all many miles away. I sat at home that evening, thinking of those poor people out there under the overpass – at least they had each other to keep them company.

That was a long time ago. Now I have a family of my own to go home to. I won’t be spending the holidays by myself. And for that, I am truly grateful to God. I don’t expect any presents for myself under the tree this year, because I really don’t need them. I have what matters most now – people around me who love and care about me. And you know what? That is the greatest present I could ever ask for.

Mickey's Christmas Carol Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge Production Cel Set-Up (Walt Disney, 1983)

We all have many blessings to be thankful for, even though we sometimes forget just how good things are. Spread that joy around if you can by reaching out to someone who could use a little good cheer. No one really wants to be a “humbug.” Even old Ebenezer Scrooge, in Charles Dickens’ immortal 1843 story A Christmas Carol, wanted to be around happy people that glorious Christmas morning. Tiny Tim said it better than I ever could that day:

“God Bless Us Every One.”

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