Archive for December 14, 2010
The true meaning of Christmas often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of the season. Interestingly, a fellow shopper and I were talking about this very issue at Michaels Arts and Crafts store after a women (who happened to be my neighbor!) cut in line in front of us. Instead of making a big scene, the fellow shopper and I both smiled at each other and began to talk about Christmas. I remarked that I would rather folks not give gifts at all if it means that the true meaning of Christ’s birth is lost in the process.
One year, I am going to get myself in gear and make everyone’s gift. That would be a true testament of my love for them. Most of all, I will be sure to think of Robert E. Jones, a Utah prisoner, when I do it too. He is my inspiration for the week and a true example of the meaning of Christmas – love, redemption and hope.
Jones recently made 540 (yes 540!) crocheted hats with pom-poms on top for the students of Oquirrh Hills Elementary School, the majority of which are poor and rarely receive such gifts. Jones is serving a prison sentence for murdering a man nearly 30 years ago. Each year, he picks a project to complete in honor of his victim, Kim Chapman. Jones paid for all of the yarn himself (he makes $0.40/hour in prison) and spent many long nights crocheting each hat in time for a special Christmas assembly at the school where each child received a hat. Believe it or not, his grandmother taught him to crochet at age 6.
I can only imagine what profound impact this small gift could have on each one of their lives - “Someone out there loves me. Someone made a big mistake with their life and is choosing to make it right by doing good.”
The sheer joy on their little faces brings to my mind the joy of the Savior’s birth. Because of Him, Jones and I are forgiven. Because of Christ’s love, redemption is possible. There is HOPE for everyone; and that is the message I wish was prominently displayed during every tv commercial and on every sale flyer that comes my way.
Can we take back Christmas one loving deed at a time? Let’s get out our hooks and needles and give it a try!