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This week’s reflection point: Red is the color of the season. I saw it in the red overheated faces of costumed Santas greeting shoppers in Orlando last week. I see it here, back home, in the red faced Santas shivering in the frigid Cleveland temperatures. In thousands of locations across the nation are the countless volunteers from the Salvation Army ringing their bells with beaming faces beckoning us to help fill their dangling red buckets to help those less fortunate than us. While shopping in Orlando with my 4-year-old granddaughter, she stopped at the bucket and asked me if that man was Santa. I said no, but he reminds us with his red apron, hat and the ringing bell that we must give to help other people and kids just like herself, especially at this Christmas season. I gave her some coins for the bucket; she rang the bell and received a candy cane. This interaction was repeated at the grocery store and mega shopping areas many times this trip! And oh, does she love the candy canes!
This reminds me of a Jewish fable about an old man who goes out to plant a carob tree. While planting, a young man journeying upon the road asked the elder how long it would take this carob tree to produce fruit. He told him that the carob tree produces fruit after 70 years. The younger asked him if he expected to live another 70 years so as to benefit from this planting. The man replied that just as his ancestors planted carob tree for him, now he is planting carob trees for his descendants. (Adapted from Ta’anit 23a).
This week’s tip: After we enjoy all the gifts and abundance of this wondrous season, I want to be sure to continue filling red buckets with my grandchildren and filling the world with hope of plenty for the generations to come.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
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© Chad Barr 2013. All Rights Reserved.