12 Days of Christmas Videos: The Coat

As you know, Christmas has become very commercial. My mailbox and my inbox are full every single day with special offers and coupons and holiday sales. Everywhere I turn, on and off line there are images of the “perfect” holiday, beckoning to me to buy, make or do something with the promise that the season will then be brighter, happier, more memorable. Santa is there, with his elves and reindeer and polar bears and penguins and candy and toys and honestly, it’s exhausting! I know and believe and try to live the true meaning of Christmas, but even then, there is so much noise. I know I am only one person, but I feel like I need to do something to ease this burden for myself, my children and maybe a few others? So, I’m hosting my very own 12 Days of Christmas, where I will collect and share inspiring videos and stories — one (or maybe two) each day for the next 12 days.

I’m starting with this one, because I LOVE it. There are no words, just music and a simple story that anyone can understand and apply to their life this season. Enjoy!

COOL | I love hearing about individual people, who quietly go about doing service and making a difference. Two days ago, someone in Spokane dropped a gold coin, wrapped in a $100 bill into the red kettle of a Salvation Army bell ringer. Apparently, this man, who wishes to remain anonymous has made such a donation every year for the last five years. The gold coin in worth more than $1,000 — how cool is that? In spite of this generous donation, the long-standing red kettle campaign is falling short this year, in nearly every city across our nation. One reason is that they are short bell-ringers. My sister Darci told me this and inspired me to contact our local Salvation Army and now my family is scheduled to volunteer next week — I get to ring the bell!

If you have videos, stories, quotes, music or anything else uplifting that you’d like to share with me, please leave a comment and/or link — there is still such much JOY and goodness and we can help each other find it!

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Comments

  1. THANK YOU Stacy for sharing this video and YOUR story! I cannot wait to share this video with my children upon their arrival home from school. And I look forward to reading about your remaining 12 Days of Christmas.
    This week was so crazy and hectic and exhausting…your message could not have come at a better time for me.
    GOD BLESS YOU DEART FRIEND!

  2. Thank you for volunteering to ring bells and mentioning the Salvation Army. I am on the Board here in Illinois of our local Salvation Army and it is true it’s harder to find people to ring, and we have paid ringers when a volunteer isn’t available, which means our campaign makes less. Have fun ringing – it’s a great experience!

  3. Tanya N AKA Mamabirdy says:

    Good morning Stacy,
    Thank for sharing this video with us. My oldest and I just enjoyed it together. with tears in my eyes.
    I really appreciate that you are doing your own 12 days. Our family Christmas is going to take on new meaning this year for many reasons and inspiring stories and lessons like these will be a beautiful reminder of what this season is about.

  4. I truly appreciate having these moments away from the commercialism to get to the uplifting stories about giving. In my area, a company just went out of business with zero notice to their employees who are owed pay they will likely never see. The company I work for has offered help with resumes and job hunting skills and is providing small donations to help them out during the holidays – makes me proud! My own personal little story (posted just yesterday) is here: http://cheriandrews.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-story-without-words.html

  5. I too have been so weary of the “Christmas industry.” Thanks for reminding us of the spirit (not the things) of Christmas, and for sharing this video that I can now share with my children!

  6. How awesome that you get to ring the bell for the Salvation Army and that your whole family will be involved. Thank you for being yourself on your blog and in your company, no matter what. I was so impressed with your mentioning the true reason of the season in day 1 of Dec. Duos (which I love, btw). I also wanted to mention to other readers – since I know you rarely watch TV – that there is a wonderful movie on either the UP channel or Hallmark or both called Silver Bells that will make people want to ring bells for the Salvation Army. It stars Bruce Boxleitner and is a great Christmas movie about redemption and helping others and the real meaning of Christmas. Just in case anyone is looking for another Christmas movie to watch!

  7. Hi Stacy, great reminder, as always.

    Last year our family helped wrap gifts at our local Salvation Army HQ and my 7 yr old still talks about it. I also always, always, always give to the kettle whenever I see it and my son has come to anticipate it. Wow, wouldn’t it be fun to be a bell ringer! I didn’t know they needed volunteers!

    This year we set a strict budget for Christmas gifts. My son longs for a particular toy, that he’s (very slowly) saving for. I have already bought his gifts and am close to the top of my budget. It’s so tempting to run out and add the extra toy yet I keep holding back so he can experience the lesson of saving for something. This time of year it’s easy to give in “because it’s CHRISTMAS!!!”. It’s such a delicate balance.

    Marie

  8. When I was little Christmas was when you got a lot of practical things you needed (and a few fun toys). Now kids (and adults) have wayyyy to much stuff. Always getting more all year long. I don’t buy my girls a ton of stuff. And I also only buy for my girls, 2 nieces and 1 nephew. No adults, no gift cards for the sake of exchanging presents.
    I have my nieces over today and for a sleepover. We’re going to bake cookies and watch a movie later. Christmas togetherness and memories is what I’m going for. We’re not very religious but just spending time and doing things with loved ones is my main focus.

    Copied this from a friends’ Facebook page and think it’s a great example of how commercialized Christmas is: Listening to the radio about getting people gift cards and how they commercialize the “giving” it’s not I seen this and thought about you any more. It’s “oh I have no idea what that person likes so I will get them some generic things and call it done”. If that is your attitude then reconsider getting them a gift and perhaps take them out for a meal and get to know them better. Cause obviously communication is a issue, work on it!!!!

  9. Every year our church puts up the Giving Tree on Thanksgiving weekend. They are paper ornaments from families registered with a local agency who would otherwise have no gifts for Christmas. The example of my parents letting me know we would have less under our tree so others could have something has continued with my family. I hope the example of our family continues as my teenage son grows and some day has his own family. It’s humbling to look at the things these families ask for (towels, clothes, shoes, grocery gift cards) compared to the list of things we “need,” like video games, scrapbook paper, etc.

  10. I try to donate to the bell ringers whenever I see them, which I haven’t yet this year. I read something about people setting fake bell ringing stations and pocketing the money. So sad.

  11. Lorna Schreck says:

    Stacy,

    Thanks for sharing this story; and letting all of us be warmed by your coat!

    Merry Christmas,
    Lorna

  12. Donna Sparks says:

    Loved the story!

  13. Lisa M. Zepponi says:

    Great video! My son’s school, “collects” money which is used to purchase Christmas wish list items for children selected by the Department of health and human services. The 6th grade class is given a set amount of money and they go shopping for the the children’s “wishlists”. It is amazing how these 11 and 12 years old REALLY want to stretch their dollars so that their designated “angel” receives EVERYTHING on their wish list. The wish list consists mainly of clothes and one or two “toys”. I love how the 6th grade class truly try to purchase an “extra special surprise” for their angel. There are so many ways to give this Christmas season. I thank everyone for finding “their perfect way to give back”.

  14. I guess I needed this one too. I knew this story, have even shared it before, but loved how simply it was presented here. Now I just need to pick my weepy self up and do something good today. Thanks Stacy.

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