jeff noel Shares A Mid Life Celebration Christmas Tradition Different From Yesterdays

Delivering Food For Families On Christmas Day Is A 12-Year Midlife Celebration Tradition

Midlife Celebration has a 12-year Christmas tradition delivering Food For Families in West Orange County every Christmas morning. As a blessed-beyond-measure Baby Boomer, I wanted to start a Family tradition that put the focus on others first. The commercialization of material Christmas gifts lures me in the wrong direction.

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Finding Meaning In Christmas?

Bob's Family Loaded Our Van
Bob's Family Loaded Our Van

Christmas isn’t the topic, finding meaning in life is. It’s the main reason we do things to help others. Something deep inside us tells to help those less fortunate.

Yesterday, Christmas morning, we pulled up to load our van – Food For Families – for the 11th straight Christmas. Helping five Families required ten boxes. As we loaded the boxes I asked, “Where are you from?” He answered, “Maine“.

Asked if he’d mind being on the Internet – they’re on a Disney Vacation – they decided to start Christmas morning, like us, finding meaning in Christmas.

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Bob Stratton & His Family - Dec. 25, 2010
Bob Stratton & His Family - Dec. 25, 2010 - 8:30AM

People Were Thankful

The Families we visited yesterday were very thankful for the Food donations that were delivered:

We visited an upscale home for the first time in ten years.  My son and I received warm and grateful greetings at every stop. One man even gave me a big hug.

I reminded our son (9) why we started this “three-times-a-year Food For Families tradition” ten years ago.

“If two boys are standing next to an adult, and one uses his manners and the other doesn’t which one do you think the adult will trust more?”

“If two adults say serving others is important, but one actually does and the other only hopes to one day, which one do you think God will say, well done?”

In telling our son why we do this, even though it may seem small, we are actually preparing ourselves to do more. By putting others first every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter morning, we are developing a habit similar to using manners.

We are cultivating good habits.  That’s all we can really ask of ourselves, isn’t it?