A Tradition of Service

How do you use your talents to help others?

Each weekend before Christmas the tempting aromas of ginger, cloves and cinnamon permeate our kitchen as jovial friends and family gather. Freshly baked gingerbread for miniature houses are laid out on the table, and bowls of candy and homemade icing cover the countertops. We eagerly coat the gingerbread shapes with icing and adorn them with colorful candy patterns. Once the walls and roofs are covered with sweets, each house is assembled on a tinfoil-covered cardboard platform coated with snow-like white icing and coconut “snowflakes,” licorice paths, and the like.

My family strongly believes that the true Christmas spirit includes sharing with others, so one house remains with us and the others are wrapped in brightly colored cellophane, tied with festive ribbons, and given away. Each child takes a small gingerbread house to school to share with classmates and gives cookies to teachers and staff. The largest house and other treats are brought to our church to be taken to a homeless shelter

This spirit, however, does not surface at Christmas time only, but rather illustrates a spirit manifest in our house throughout the year. My mother has always tried to make community service an exciting and fun-filled family project, and...

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