Well folks, it's that time of year again. The time of cheer, laughter, family, friends, no school, hot-tubbing, sledding, and Christmas. The time of year when we bundle up with our snow gear, go skiing, get rosy cheeks, come down with colds, and sit by the fireplace, at least for those of us who live in Michigan. In my house, we usually set up the tree and hang the lights on the house right about now, we finish finding Christmas presents and begin wrapping or hiding them in the depths of our house. I unfortunately have not had the luxury of finishing my Christmas shopping due to classes, homework and exams but I did get home to see my house covered in lights. I live out in the country on a small 20 acre farm. My house is an old yellow farmhouse with a green roof and a big red barn behind it. As I drive up the road to my house, I see the house all lit up on top of the hill where my house sits. We always have white lights surrounding our roof line with green garland wrapping around our porch with big red bows. There is two reindeer in the front yard made of lights facing the road. I pull in the driveway to gaze at the beauty of this old farmhouse. Unfortunately we have not had much snowfall yet this year and there was not a speck of white to be seen yet but it was still so pretty. I walk up the front steps to my house across the flagstones embedded with grass in between dreaming of the looks of this place when it finally snows. I open the front door to the smell of gingerbread wafting in the air. I walk in and see my 4 year old niece dancing and singing "Up on the Housetop, reindeer paws...", she turns to face me and screams high pitch for about what seems like a minute straight. My sister, Dad and I begin laughing at the excitement on her face. She runs to me and asks, "Are you home for good?", these are the moments I live for, the reason I love this time of year; family. I miss so much of their school programs and growing up days while I am here studying my life away, but it is so good to know that when I come home the welcome back is the best feeling in the entire world.
Today in chapel, our chaplain presented a challenge to us for this Christmas and Advent season. Did you know that the United States spends $450 billion on Christmas gifts every year. That is a LOT of money. Did you know that it will only take $20 billion to solve the world's clean water problem? If everyone in the world bought ONE less gift this year we could solve world thirst. This is the time of year that is not only for our immediate families but it is a time to give to our global community as well. Watch this video. It changes lives, literally. As a poor college student, the past few years I have slowly gone back to homemade gifts for my family and friends like I used to make as a child. Homemade gifts mean more, inspire people to do the same, and show love more than any store bought gift could. I encourage each and every one of you to remember what is truly important in this holiday season, family. Our own families and our global family, coming together to celebrate a time of year that evokes joy in the hearts of so many, more than at any other time of year. Think about it. Change a life today.
Watch this video and inspire other hearts to do the same.