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Dec. 20

Give Some Real Joy to the World

This post is by Calla Gilson, 17, who inspires other young people to get involved in service as a National Youth Advisory Council member for generationOn, the youth enterprise of Points of Light.

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Calla Gilson

The great anticipation for Dec. 25 is upon us and with all of the rushing about to prepare for the perfect Christmas Day celebration, somewhere along the way, something has been lost. Somewhere between the Christmas cookie chaos, and the search for stocking stuffers, the joy that is supposed to come so easily to the world during these weeks has been misplaced.    

For me, the search for this joy started early. Even before Thanksgiving, national news coverage seemed to be devoted to the craze of an even earlier Black Friday rollout. But where was the Christmas joy in those long lines, cramped aisles and sometimes downright violent encounters? Where was the giving in all of this grabbing?  

It wasn’t until the night of the annual Christmas pageant at my church that I realized that the power to bring joy was within my own hands. As the audience joined our young cast in singing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” members of the congregation began to bring canned goods to the manger for those in need. One by one, smiles filled their faces, as they recognized the true joy that giving creates, not only for those who are served but also those who do the serving.

In that instant, the atmosphere of the performance shifted. It was no longer about the preteen angels outfitted with bed sheets and glow-stick halos, or the sweet sound of “Away in a Manger” from the preschoolers. The story had been liberated from the stage and was now being brought to life in the community.

The joy found in the spirit of Christmas calls us not only to celebrate, but to share with those who need it most. This Christmas season, generationOn and Hasbro are partnering to help young people bring joy to their communities. For each action you take to help others, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots — up to $1 million worth! People are sharing their stories of giving at the campaign’s website givejoy.generationOn.org.  

Let’s return the “giving” to the Season of Giving, and allow the incredible power of service to bring “Joy to the World.”

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