I walked in and the place had been transformed.  Dozens of fir trees, the smell of hay, sheep, goats, geese, rabbits and even a pot belly pig.  The path led along store fronts: a hardware store, bookstore, toy store, grocery store, etc.  A strolling Mandolin player was singing carols.  Smiles, laughter and light conversation abounded.  No grabbing of merchandise, just simple tags with requests from people in need around the world – a refrigerator for an orphanage in China, building supplies in Haiti, buy a goat (or two) for African families.  $20 would provide a birthday party for a child who never had one.  Yes, there was the requisite manger seen as well.  My children looked darling as they played Mary and Joseph for a short time, but the major impact was they gave their allowance for someone around the world.  It was a wonderful way to usher in the advent season.  Giving to those in dire need before thinking of self.

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About Dr. Jeff Van Meter

Author, Speaker, Psychologist, Human Leader
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