I remember Christmas as a little boy in Alabama in my great-grandmother’s house. I remember the excitement and the enthusiasm with which I went to bed on Christmas Eve. My grandmother and my great-grandmother were raising me and several of my cousins because our parents had gone north to find work. We had no idea of what store-bought gifts were like; usually our toys were made by hand. But we were excited just the same. Our house was a little shack – from the front door you could look through clear to the back. They called them shotgun shacks and they had tin roofs. Most of the houses in the neighborhood did not have a bathroom in the house. As poor as we were, the thing that I remember about those days is the love and the safety we felt. The house was filled with warmth and wonderful affection.
I still love the holidays because of my youthful memories. Many of the children that we serve here at Youth Horizons get very depressed this time of the year. They feel abandoned and alone. This holiday season, please make it your business to notice the children in your life. Touch them with love and where need be, express your concern or gently give correction. While you and your children are enjoying the holiday season, please remember me and the ones I am trying to make it up to because they will not be at home with the people they love. And while you are writing checks for gifts, if you could help us end the year in the black, we would be grateful.