Get Inspired: A little goes a long way…

Ah, it’s Christmas morning…uh okay technically it’s a Christmas afternoon but it’s okay. We must’ve opened our presents by now – either by ripping the carefully packaged wrapping into shreds or buy pulling the tape apart slowly and deliberately. Either way, we’ve been blessed with so many things this Christmas. But what can inspire us to do the same for others?

Now I don’t mean buying gifts for your nasty younger brother. What about a nice hand in the kitchen for your mom? Or even your neighbors – isn’t it time that you’ve gotten to know them? What better way than over a batch of soft baked chocolate chip cookies. It’s the holidays of course and nothing else can make you feel better than to see someone’s face light up in happiness. Someone other than your family members and friends.

My family has been all gung-ho about tradition these days. My brother (the youngest in the family) is going off to college next year and so my mom is getting a bit sentimental about our younger days. I guess that’s why I wasn’t surprised when my mom suggested that we as a family go to Washington D.C. for Christmas Eve. She explained that when we were younger, we used to always go to this one Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, eat the same duck, noodle, and shrimp fried-rice dishes, and give some money to the homeless.

Giving money to the homeless? I remember the savory bites of the fried rice but never giving money to the homeless? My mom laughed and said that even I handed a five dollar bill over to a homeless person who was sleeping. Interesting! I wondered how it would go.

After eating a heaping portion of the Chinese food we haven’t had in ages, we took a stroll down the street. We saw a homeless person sitting next to the corner of the building. My mom handed me my five dollar bill and I placed it next to the lady. She looked up at us with bright eyes and softly said “God bless you all.” I was astounded. Having lived so close to the city all my life, I’ve always been told to be careful and avoid the homeless on the street corners. This was definitely the first time I’ve felt a connection between them. The eyes I saw last night after I presented her with the five dollar bill was the same eyes I saw this morning when I gave my parents their Christmas present.

I encourage you all to do something like this. Make your own little tradition! Next year, I plan to help the kitchens with Thanksgiving breakfast in the city. They may seem so different for you at first but maybe you’ll be surprised on how similar people can be.

Oh yea, and a Happy Holidays to everyone!

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