This is the time of year we are all thinking about gift giving, panicking might be a better  word considering it is only 2 weeks away.  With this holiday much emphasis is put on the giving and receiving of gifts.  I had thought maybe it would be good to write about generosity and the importance of it, not just at the holiday but the whole year.

I love the story of Charles Dickens and how he came to write "A Christmas Carol".  Charles Dickens was struggling financially, he was concerned about providing for his family and was struggling with new ideas to write about.  He had grown up quite poor and his parents had been put in debtor prison.  As a young boy he would work in a factory making only 6 shillings a week, which he would give to his father to help so his father could one day get out of prison.  As an adult as he started to see the same things happening to his own family and it brought great concern.  He would often be awake at night and worrying about what he would do.  He started walking one night to help ease some of the excessive thoughts that where going on in his head.  He came across a family who was living under a bridge in some of the worst living conditions that where imaginable and it really struck him in the heart.  So going home that night he knew he needed to do something for this family. 

What could he do?  When he already had so little. 

So he took what he could and went again the next night and found the same family in the same dire circumstances.  When he first made his presence known the father was defensive thinking he was merely there to harass them as others often did. When the man understood what was happening he asked Charles Dickens "why are you doing this"?   The reply was...

because you need it and I need to give it to you.

Charles Dickens went back to his home and started to write "A Christmas Carol"  he wrote the book in six weeks.  When he had it published he had it published on less expensive paper so more people could enjoy reading it.

It is my belief that once Charles Dickens stopped thinking with his head and started listening with his heart he was truly inspired.  I challenge us all to connect with our hearts and try to find a way to express generosity to those who are truly in need this holiday season.