This Christmas is a whole new experience for me than the past years. I would normally be at home willing to just have Christmas dinner with my family and then after that it would be me leaving the house and going and doing what I wanted to do – which was run around and cause trouble wherever I could.
This year however will not only be a Christmas that I can remember, but it’s one that will go down in the books. This year, the holidays to me is all about having willingness to be of service, get out of self and make it about other people. So far we have done a few acts of service work this season. We have gone to a church to help sort out food and then package it up for the homeless – it was kind of like a pre-food drive event and that was a lot of fun. We were able to keep everyone around us laughing and keep the spirits up. Next we did a toy drive; in my opinion the toy drive was one of the best acts of service I have done. It took New Life House management and the guys from the house about 2 weeks to get it all set up. There were presents being bought and packaged, and everything put in order. We ended up renting a U-Haul to get everything to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club that we were taking the gifts to! We also brought our barbeques and a bunch of food to feed the kids. When it was time to give the kids their gifts, not only was it cool to see how our hard work had paid off, but to see the smiles on the kid’s faces when they saw that they had actually gotten what they asked for. It was one of the best feelings I have had doing service work.
It is just crazy to think about, because last year and multiple years before, I would never have been willing to do that or even find it cool to see the excitement on the kid’s faces. So taking it back to willingness, I would have never have had the chance to have these experiences if I had not been down to do these things. Now, through being willing to get out of myself, I have a lot of gratitude throughout my days whereas before, when I wasn’t willing to do these different acts of kindness and service work, there was no gratitude in my life.
What gratitude means to me is not only being happy to do these things and feel good about doing them but that if you live in gratitude then you also need to show it. That means to show it through being willing to do whatever is asked of me, whether it be to fix whatever needs to be fixed, supporting people out on pass, or even cooking for the Christmas party. But all in all, this Christmas to me is all about being willing to get out of myself and do whatever is asked or needed of me and through doing so and not thinking of myself, developing a sense of gratitude for the holidays and a gratitude for my new found life. This year’s Christmas will be a Christmas that I never forget.
-Aaron Y., New Life House member
Last Updated on May 24, 2022