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Berdine's Corner

A Season of Giving

by Kenney X. Dennard

berdine dennard
Berdine Dillard Dennard

Life Lessons from a Matriarch

As a child every year as Fall approached I began to count the days for Christmas. I think I started in September. I would come home excited and everyday say something to my mother like, "Ma! It's only 86 more days till Christmas!"

The countdown would continue everyday but would really get exciting once we received our Sears Wish Book. I would then sit on our front porch and write a list out almost daily of the things I wanted for Christmas.

My mama would play along as well. She loved the holidays. She would even buy me a couple of things off my list for Christmas. But she made sure I knew also that although I was highly anticipating getting gifts that Christmas was about more than just receiving gifts. My siblings and me were reminded no matter how small our allowances were that were to get each member of the house something we could afford, not something cheap.

The holidays were always so special at our house because after waking up at the crack of dawn opening my gifts, as each member of the family woke up, I presented them with a gift as well. And even if it was just a tie or pajamas for my dad and a bracelet or belt for my mother or whatever creative I could think of for my brother or sister, everyone was thankful and happy to have exchanged gifts.

My mother was sure to then get us dressed and ready for church because before we could continue the days activities of eating and fellowshipping with extended family we had to go to church and give The Lord the glory for the true meaning of the season; The Birth of Christ.

As a grown man, especially since my mom has passed, all of those memories are far behind me. Long gone are the days of waking up early opening up gifts. All that's left in my mind is the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and the way he spent His life giving to others to help make their lives better.

This time of year I look into my closets and find clothes that I may have hanging up that I've maybe worn once or twice and don't plan on wearing again. I give them to the Salvation Army. There are food drives and coat and clothing drives all over the city as well. If I have something for them, I will give there as well.

Because of the lesson my mother taught, I'm sure to give something away. Christmas is for everyone. A lot of people have the misconception that it is just for kids. But it is mostly a time when we should all reflect on what the Lord has done for us in the gift of his Son Jesus Christ.

In one of the last videos we have of my mother, Berdine Dennard, she stressed to never be stingy with your money. "Let in come through one hand and out the other," she said. "Don't ever be so tight... and the Lord will take care of you. Give what you can give to God, and he surly will give it back." I'm so glad I learned these lessons early. I've been giving with my heart since I can remember. I hope others have or will as well.

Make sure this holiday season you give from the heart.

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