“tis the Season

‘tis the Season:  Celebrating Red and Green Friday.

Many people look forward to Black Friday.  I myself celebrate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Red and Green Friday.  All year long I have bought Christmas books and recorded Christmas movies. Then on Red and Green Friday, I jump out of bed as early as I wake up (this year it was at 4:30) and rush downstairs to begin reading books and watching movies. The only bit of Christmas spirit I allow myself to enjoy before this day is attending a Trans-Siberian Orchestra Lost Christmas Eve performance.

I even have a special bookcase in my writing room that is my Christmas bookcase.  In it I keep my Yuletide books, including my 140 year old editions of Charles Dicken’s Christmas tales, and 80 year old edition of The Night Before Christmas.  There, in my overstuffed chair, by the illumination of my Christmas Story Leg Lamp, I read for hours.

In 2011 I read Jason Wright’s book The Christmas Jars. For those who have not read it, I strongly urge you to do so.  The story tells of a ministry to save your change throughout the year and place it in a Christmas Jar. Then, during Christmas, giving it to someone in need. I never have change because I use my credit card for everything. So I adapted this by doing the following:

I place ten dimes in my left pant’s pocket. Throughout the day, I pray and/or offer praise for others, or for myself, and when I do, I move a dime from my left pocket to my right pocket. Once I go through all ten dimes, I put them in my Christmas Jar. Once I have gone through 50 dimes, I place a 5 dollar bill into the jar, and take out the dimes, and start over. I put between $20 and $50 in a jar.  Throughout the holiday, my wife and I seek out those less fortunate to give our Christmas Jars to.  This has become my favorite part of the Christmas holiday.

During this holiday season, may you recognize the HOPE of the Christ Child AND the HAPPINESS of serving the Risen Christ.

I hope each and every one of  you will think of special ways you can observe the true spirit of Christmas this season.  Drop me an email and share with me how you did so.

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About Jerry Haynes

OK, where do I start. I was born…., no that line has already been taken.Call me…, oops so has that one. Well, I won’t attempt to spout musical prose, and just be myself. I grew up in the small cotton mill town of Fries, VA. My parents were hardworking members of the middle class. They never earned more than a little over minimum wage, but I can never remember lacking for anything. After graduating from Fries High School in 1969, I started to VA Tech. After two years of partying (1st), going to movies (2nd), and studying, well, much further down the list, VA Tech decided I need a two year break to get my priorities straight. With a number 8 in the draft lottery, I knew that even if the Hokies didn’t want me, Uncle Sam did. I joined the US Navy. I got my priorities straight. I’m proud to be a Viet Nam veteran, but feel guilty I never got deployed. I graduated from Tech in 1977 with a BS in Civil Engineering. For the next 35 years I would work in both the private and public sectors. My first job took me to Tazewell County, Virginia where I soon joined the Jaycees. This ignited my passion for individual development. This passion still burns today.

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