For the past week I’ve spent far too much time on social media but have concluded that, for once, this is okay! I’ve been watching numerous videos documenting kind acts performed by strangers who are honoring this Season of Giving by doing just that- giving. One favorite shows a group of young students in Texas who came together to purchase pairs of new shoes for a classmate whom they found out was wearing them two-and-a-half sizes too small. It reminded me of the annual Samaritan’s Feet event which takes place in Memphis every year during which hundreds of pairs of shoes are given to local school children. It was also a stark reminder that even in a country considered one of the wealthiest in the world, there are many who still suffer without the capabilities of affording life’s bare essentials- such as shoes.
Another favorite video is that showing the Best Buy employees in New York who purchased a gaming system for a young man they noticed came into the store every day to play video games. As one of the employees presented him the WiiU, he appeared shocked that this was actually happening. Right after the young man wiped his cheek I dotted the corner of my eye to keep the tears intact. This was a reminder that if we sometimes pause long enough to look beneath the surface, we’ll find there is opportunity to lift another’s spirit in the most unexpected of ways.
For my family, this holiday season means the celebration of Christmas: a combination of reflecting on Christ’s birth and recognizing the magic of Santa Claus still part of our son’s life. And in all facets of our celebration we have realized it comes down to one thing, really: the beauty of believing in miracles. During the holiday season, especially, we are surrounded by this beauty in countless ways as those from all backgrounds and walks of life, regardless of race or religious beliefs, seek to find ways in which they can deposit a miracle or two into someone else’s life.
Every year, as part of our Christmas traditions, we watch the same series of holiday movies. This includes the original 1947 version of “Miracle on 34th Street”. There is a scene in which Santa Claus, also known as Kris Kringle, goes on trial and his attorney must prove Mr. Kringle is in fact not insane but truly is Santa Claus. During a conversation regarding the trial his attorney, Fred Gailey, says what has become one of my favorite pieces:
“Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. Don’t you see? It’s not just Kris that’s on trial, it’s everything he stands for. It’s kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.”
So whether you believe, like us, in The Greatest Miracle and the magic of Santa Claus or believe in neither at all, there is still much left to believe in throughout this season- and year round. We can believe in kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.