The Feast of St. Nicholas is fast approaching on December 6th. While reflecting upon this great and joyful saint, I was reminded of what a generous man he truly was.
As Christians, we are all called to give to others in need.
When my children were very young I was talking to a priest who told me he carried around bags with different food items in his car. As he drove around town, he would see someone who was hungry, and would give them a bag filled with food and water.
I tried to think about how we, as a family with small children, could incorporate this same idea. I wanted the children to have an active role in the process, so here’s what we came up with …
Claire and Patrick decided to use brown lunch bags and decorate them with assorted stickers and drawings. They wrote encouraging messages like, “God bless you” and “We are praying for you.” Next, they filled the bags with food items (that didn’t require refrigeration) like apples, granola bars, Vienna sausages, cheese crackers or peanut butter crackers, and water. Then the bags were kept in our family minivan, so that whenever we are driving around town and see someone in need, we can roll down the window and give them a bag of food.
It is a simple idea, but one that has made our children much more aware of those who are truly in need. This activity has also sparked some great conversations about how we are called to treat others. The greatest blessing has been to see smiles on the faces of those who are hungry.
Like St. Nicholas, we all can be gift givers to those in need.
Have a blessed Advent!
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink.” — Matthew 25:37