published : 2023-12-10

Now more than ever, we must gift the 'True Meaning of Christmas'

We all need help occasionally. Even the most privileged among us is lost at times.

A photo of a young child holding a plastic Nativity scene, taken with a Canon EOS R5 camera.

With every passing week, our nation and the world seem to be slipping deeper and deeper into a spirit-crushing abyss.

Be it wars, atrocities, spiraling crime, crumbling cities, inflation, partisan divides, poverty, hunger, loss of faith, or increasing mental-health issues brought about by those issues.

In each and every instance, there is a fellow human being in pain.

A woman, man, or child potentially going through the worst that life has to offer.

Often feeling alone and abandoned.

The Christmas season is now upon us.

But the holiday is not just about gifts, toys, or a miraculous birth.

It is – and must be – about celebrating the very brightest of humanity during the darkest of times.

Each of us knows at least one fellow human being going through personal struggles and turmoil.

That 'brightest' in my opinion being the ingrained emotion within us to reach out and help those much less fortunate than ourselves.

That to me will always represent the 'True Meaning of Christmas.'

As a child, I became an unwitting 'poster child' for those in need.

By the time I was 17 years of age, I had been evicted from 34 homes.

My first memory of those evictions coming when I was 5.

When the constables came to drag me out of the house, they found me hiding in a closet clutching a tiny plastic Nativity scene to my chest.

An image of a diverse group of people working together to help orphaned children, captured with a Nikon D850 camera.

I push my faith on no one, but for me, the little smiling face of the Baby Jesus in that plastic Nativity not only eased my frightened mind but gave me an inner peace to go on.

An inner peace which never left me.

It has been said that for those who much has been given, much is expected.

While I was not given anything in a material sense, I do believe I was blessed in so many other ways.

One way being – hopefully – the ability to tell a story.

As the True Meaning of Christmas does mean so much to me, several years ago, I decided to create a Christmas story that would highlight people from around the world going through the worst life has to offer.

Desperate men and women who would finally find the path to inner peace and their 'meaning in life' via a joint project to help tens of thousands of orphaned children the world over.

That story became a novel titled: 'The North Pole Project: In Search of the True Meaning of Christmas.'

A little book for which all the proceeds are used to help those in need.

As one who grew up in abject poverty, I have stressed often that poverty will never be solved on a 'macro' level.

Ever. But it can be greatly and positively impacted on a 'micro' level.

So can almost every problem plaguing humanity.

Each of us knows at least one fellow human being going through personal struggles and turmoil.

Be it a family member, a work colleague, a neighbor, or even a stranger we have met in passing.

If we all helped just one person in need this Christmas season, it would make a meaningful difference.

A heartwarming picture of a family gathering around a dinner table, offering support and companionship to someone in need, taken with a Sony A7III camera.

'Help' does not necessarily mean in a monetary sense.

So many in mental and physical pain do feel like they are fighting their battles alone.

Human interaction of any kind can ease a troubled mind.

'Help' can be a conversation, a seat at a dinner table, a recommendation to a town, city, or state agency, a ride to a medical appointment, a walk taken together, yard work done for the elderly or infirm, a posting on a bulletin board, or a message on social media.

As the world gets more confusing and foreboding by the day, the best solutions are still often the simplest.

One that will never fail and scales across humanity at Christmas and every time of the year being the Golden Rule: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'

We all need help occasionally.

Even the most privileged among us find themselves lost at times.

It is not always about the money.

But it is always about the humanity.

Giving is receiving.

The True Meaning of Christmas is a gift all can bestow upon those in need.

As our world grows darker and more uncertain, brighten a life to illuminate your own.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.