“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”  – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
My favorite Christmas didn’t involve Rudolph, nor opening my favorite presents from Santa.
It involved a bag full of presents left on the doorstep of a family who needed Christmas more than me.
A photo of my family when we all lived under one roof.

That winter we lived in a small town in Alabama with four siblings left at home from the original seven. Three older sisters left years before, married with families of their own. Then there was my mom and dad who led our household with happiness throughout that year.

 Every holiday season as a family of nine was spent visiting grandparents and counting down the days till Christmas morning when we raced to the living room to see what Santa brought us that year. But that Christmas was different. Instead of counting down the days till that favorite morning, we counted the ways we could serve others.
The opportunity was presented to us to give back to a family in need. With no hesitation, we started to plan how to give Christmas to this family – a mom and dad, two sisters, and a brother.
My family gathered toys and books, wrapped them in paper decorated with snowmen and reindeer, and placed them in a bag to be later delivered in secret.
That following Sunday, my brother drove to their house and placed the presents on the the front porch while that family was away.
A few weeks later during Sunday School at church, the young boy of that family spoke of a bag of toys that were left on his front porch which allowed his family to have Christmas. He talked of the happiness and joy felt that day.
Not saying a word, I sat there with a smile and a grateful heart to help someone in need.

Presents come and go year after year, but the feeling of gratitude when helping others never goes away. That was a lesson learned as a young girl that has stayed with me as I look for ways to give back each holiday season.

Check back tomorrow for part two on ways to give back this holiday season.