When I was a boy I sold stuff door-to-door, mowed lawns, shoveled walks, and delivered papers to make money. I don’t know if that was so much because of my own diligence as it was a reflection of my parents determination to train diligence into me. They were always trying to figure out ways to channel my abundant energy. My Dad also noticed that I had the gift of easy conversation. So they nudged me toward sales. I sold greeting cards. I sold seeds. On Saturday mornings I went out inviting children to ride the church bus.
One Christmas I wanted to make some money to buy Christmas presents for my family so I gathered hickory nuts from beneath the big trees above the pond out on Grandma and Grandpa Pierpont’s Farm and sold them door-to-door in the little village of Utica where we lived. They sold fast and I went downtown to Hufford’s Ben Franklin and shopped for some simple gifts. On Christmas morning my gathering and gift of gab and hustle turned those nuts into smiles and tears on the faces of my loved ones. Those years were very painful for me at school, but there was love in that little house on Mill Street.
When Dan and Wes were small and cute (They are still cute, but they aren’t small anymore), I found some chestnuts and bagged them up for the boys to sell door-to-door up in the “Hollander Heights” neighborhood where we lived at the time. It was in the snowy weeks before Christmas in Fremont, Michigan. The average annual snowfall is a little over 70 inches. That year we had 110 inches.
Picture this: Fluffy flakes of snow falling. Mounds of white snow on the ground. Two little boys shuffle down the street in mittens and boots and coats and hoods and stocking caps. Their chubby cheeks are red with cold. Their breath hangs in little clouds over their heads. There are peddling their chestnuts door-to-door. They made a little Christmas money. They bought gifts for their loved ones.
I love how Christmas tugs on people’s hearts and motivates them to do loving things. It’s almost Christmas time. By all means, lean into it with your heart. Figure out some ways to love people.