This is all I want for Christmas this year.

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CHRISTMAS IS A SEASON for giving.

We buy gifts.

We exchange gifts.

Gifts let people know we care.

With that in mind, let me tell you want I want for Christmas.

I don’t know all of you.

Chances are, we’ll never meet.

But I feel as though I have a worldwide community of friends out there, people whose names I know, whose writing I appreciate, whose books I have read, whose tweets I have re-tweeted, whose blogs and serials I have published.

We are family.

We’re not connected by blood.

We are connected by words.

So I don’t mind asking you to give me a gift this Christmas.

Here is what I want.

I have watched a lot of Christmases come and go, and I have seen Christmas in the eyes of a child.

A twinkle.

A smile.

A heart full of love.

And I have seen disappointment in the eyes of a child.

A frown.

A heart full of hurt.

I hurt when a child hurts.

So do you.

So do we all.

For Christmas this year, the only gift I want is for you to drop by your favorite store and buy a toy, any toy, large or small, expensive or on sale, and take it down to Toys for Tots.

The Marines collect them.

Firemen collect them.

So does the Salvation Army, as well as many other charitable organizations throughout the country. Each community, each part of the world, has its own version of Toys for Tots, but their aim is all the same.

Somewhere a child is waiting.

And you can put Christmas in the eyes of the child.

After all, there are Angel Trees all over town.

You’ll feel better.

I’ll feel better.

And a child feels the spirit of Christmas.

It lasts a long time.

For your Christmas gift this year, I thank you.

I have already given a Christmas gift for you.

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  • Caleb Pirtle

    If we can make a child smile somewhere in the midst of hard times, it’s been a great Christmas for us all.

    • Thanks for the reminder! I don’t care much about the non-religious parts of Christmas any more, but children do – and that should not be taken from them.

      I’m sure if I ever have grandchildren, this attitude will die a quick death (no, children, I am not ADVOCATING grandchildren, just saying).

      And for now, being together is huge – and the phone calls, or better still, Skype, from the ones who can’t make it warm our hearts.

      I am NOT Scrooge – I just don’t need any more stuff – presence, not presents.

      • Caleb Pirtle

        Amen, Alicia. Let’s bless the little children every chance we get.

  • Gae-Lynn Woods

    This is my favorite part of Christmas, Caleb. We have no kids, but I buy toys all year and deliver a bag full to a local church or women’s shelter, asking that they find a kid who needs a toy, or fill in a gap in a child’s wish list. It makes me smile to think that one toy might bring a smile to a kid on Christmas morning. Great post.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Good for you, Gae-Lynn. Christmas is all about children. Several years ago, Linda and I decided that, since we really don’t need anything in December that we can’t buy in July, we’ll take the money reserved for each other’s Christmas gifts and spend it on Angel Trees. She and I both feel better on Christmas morning.

  • Darlene Jones

    We do that through Santa’s Anonymous here in Canada. Kids decorate a paper ball and write what they’d like on the back. These decorations are then hung on a tree at the mall. We pick one or two or three and buy the gifts. Volunteers then see that they are delivered to the right homes.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Darlene: I bet all of the paper ball decorations are taken. We have good people all over the world who will help if we only show them how and give them a reason to do so.

  • Don Newbury

    Great pitch for great cause, Caleb. We try to practice this annually, particularly filling shoe boxes of toys and more for gifting in other countries through our church. Give another Christmas, I’ll write about most memorable one, more than 50 years ago. Neil Guthrie worked at Gibson’s and found several hundred toys that weren’t, uh, fully fit for sale. Uncle Cecil Holman knew the most impoverished in the flats, I borrowed a Santa suit from the Methodist Church, and…..

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Now that, my man, is a story that needs to be written for Christmas. Next year I’m calling you for details and will write it. Depend on it.

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