I remember going to sing Christmas carols at the care center with my family when my son was only five months old. One of those moments passed that you hold on to and "ponder in your heart." I remember watching as my mom, holding my infant son on her hip, walked in to an elderly woman's room and reached out her hand to her and spoke with her and showed her my little boy. I remember this woman using all her strength to rise out of bed toward my mom to take her hand and see the baby. There was such joy on the woman's face. I realized several things at that moment. One, I have an incredibly compassionate mother who sets a great example for those around her. Two, I wanted to raise my children to love those around them in this way as second nature by raising them with the same example as I had before me this night.
Six years later, I am beginning to see the fruits of this labor. We once again visited the care center to sing carols with some of my children's friends. I was almost brought to tears as I saw my daughter unhesitatingly enter the rooms of the residents to shake their hands and give them a hand-made ornament. I was proud as I watched her little brother follow her example at four years old, as he shook hands and said "Merry Christmas" to each person.
Caroling at the Care Center is definitely on my list of favorite Christmas traditions. Besides the above, here are a few reasons why I think you should visit the care center:
1) It brings joy and excitement to the residents
2) It reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas - loving and giving
3) It teaches our children to get out of their box and think about others before themselves
4) It nourishes the residents fulfilling our command to care for the widows and orphans, which goes beyond just their physical, but their emotional and spiritual needs as well.
If you haven't had an opportunity to go this year, look for a church or group that is going, or make your own small group. Find a few of your favorite Christmas carols, buy a pack of ornaments or candy canes to hand out and just go. You will be so blessed!