The Christmas Elf
In American folklore, a Christmas Elf is a pint-size creature that lives with Santa Claus in the North Pole and acts as his helper. It is believed that these elves who work in Santa’s workshop, visit families and bring to them the magic of Christmas. The magic manifested in the form of Santa delivering gifts to the good children in the family. These little creatures do their share of “good deed” in the season of Christmas and go back to slumber in their homes again till the next Christmas.
Many of us are like the elves… we do our little share of good deed when it comes to Christmas or at least we wait for Christmas to do it. Of course what we may do brings cheer to the heart of the receiver. But once Christmas is over, so is its magic. We procrastinate all our desires to help someone or bring cheer to someone until Christmas. We stack our goodies and give them out when its Christmas season…and many a times to get rid of the things which haven’t been of use to us. Most of us get ourselves involved in giving to others because of the ‘feel good’ factor. It makes us feel generous and helps us to keep up the feeling of …”Yes, I did something good today”. To some of us, its a part of a group action – “My friends and family do it, so I too do it. Its a yearly ritual”. To some it is “I give because I seek blessings”. And to some it is to give to show it to others as to how much they can give. So lets call it , “I give to show how much I can”. Yet to some it comes as a feeling of doing good to others to feel better for yourself. And to some it is a feeling of pride of oneself. Out of all the reasons we give and share with others… how many times do we do it with the “genuine” feeling of making someone happy? Just the pure feeling of giving.
Today in our worlds of self obsession, we hardly find time for our family members and friends. So it is of course difficult to go out of our way to help someone. Holiday time seems to be the best preferred to do charity as one finds a little bit of time from a schedule as a part of self satisfying activity done during holiday time. Not that it is wrong, but it is selfish. We are being selfish here by shelling out something for someone just to satisfy ourselves of having the feeling of being generous. Generosity is a lucid feeling of giving without expecting anything in return. One can only be generous if he gives with the pure intent of not receiving anything from the receiver’s end. Its an expression of love of giving not when you have enough, but giving out of the little you have. More than monetary and materialistic help, giving your time and attention to someone is far more valuable. Every person you meet deserves your love and attention. Just a willing heart to reach out to a lonely someone who wants you to give a hearing ear or just reach out to a little kid to see him laugh. Being generous is like a smile… gives comfort to both the receiver and giver… such a boomerang reaction it is! The effort applied to smile is negligible (when u smile with all your heart of course!) and so should it be when you are being a generous soul. It should be a heartfelt willing act without any pretend or pride or feeling of doing a favor attached to it. Be fearlessly giving to the benefit and happiness of others. this should be done without the fear of being taken advantage of and being oppressed. As we cultivate generosity within oneself, all that gets oppressed is one’s own greed, ego and attachment to ourselves.
As the cribs are dismantled, trinkets and decorations are removed, festive lights put out and the sweets relished let the magic of the Christmas season prevail and surpass these materialistic icons. Christmas begins in our hearts and souls every day when we allow an act of generosity to spring up well without suppressing it. Benevolence has no season, has no day, distinguishes no person and has no boundaries. All it knows is the virtue flowing out to do good for others. Take little efforts to spread a little kindness by being generous with your time, your talents and your attention. It maybe your workplace, your neighborhood or just the pathway. Your small gesture may just brighten up someone’s day in ways you would never know. Some of these may be –
- Say “thank you” often. To the lift man out there, to the milkman, to the postman, to the security guard standing outside your office, to your mom or dad or sibling or friend, to your teacher or professor. Just two words and they work wonders.
- Don’t walk over the next homeless person you see. No need to give money. You can buy a bread and tea for that person. The reaction will truly be something that makes his as well as your day!
- Leave a big tip.
- Put a note that reads ‘I Love You’ in your Mum’s purse ,Dad’s wallet or Lover’s.
- Why shouldn’t animals be a part of your generosity drive? Make a little bird feeder in your backyard or garden. Feed a pack of biscuits to a stray dog. You sure would have a friend to accompany you when you walk down the street.
- Offer a helping hand to your neighbor to clean the courtyard or do gardening. A healthy conversation would help you have a better relationship.
- Make someone laugh out of the blue. What could be more better than sharing some good humor!
- Someone having a hard time using a gadget. Offer your help if you are aware of how to use it.
- Share your music playlist with someone. Music is the best gift to give someone.
- Appreciate someone for something they do well or did well. Don’t be stingy with your words.
- Pass on a good book you have to your friends and to their friends. Let the passing game go on till you get the book again!
- Return back a lost article. Take a little effort to find the address and make sure the person gets the lost thing. How relieving and joy giving it is when you find a lost article of your own. Give that feeling to someone else.
- Buy a little kid a lollipop or chocolate when you are waiting at the store for your item to be delivered. You surely wouldn’t miss that amazement and smile on that face.
- Let a person go before you in the line.
- Write a little letter to a friend and post it. What joy that friend would feel to get handwritten feelings delivered at the door by a postman rather than receiving a forwarded text.
These are small acts…very small but impinging acts. Sometimes most of us do these unknowingly.We can do bigger things…much bigger and much challenging. The secret to being generous is practicing it daily by putting your thoughts and willingness in action. It is utterly contagious and may affect the people around you too. Get them to join your league! Yeah sometimes , some may think you are crazy…but what is the point in being mediocre and not following your heart! So remember ,the Little Christmas Elf… Let him inspire you all through the year about how to zealously strive to make someone happy…no matter whether its a friend or a stranger, young or old, ill or well!
To be benevolent to others , you have to be benevolent to yourself first. So don’t you forget to fall in love with yourself first! Be recklessly generous in loving yourself and so will you be to others.
“Charity and love are the same – with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead”. (Mother Teresa : heedlessly and unsparingly humane soul )