The advent of the so-called “…ber” months signals the start of the count-down towards the much anticipated Christmas season. In spite of the three long months coming before December, a great number of our kababayans start the Christ-mas preparations in their homes with the placement of decors and materials depicting the season. Malls and other business establishments also recognize this distinct Filipino tradition and have started displaying and selling Christmas decorations and paraphernalia. Hence, we earned the distinction of the nation with the longest period for celebrating the Christmas season.
But what really is the essence of Christmas? A good number of us would consider the season as just another occasion when we receive gifts, new clothes, new gadgets, toys or feast on great foods. A season to be jolly, so they say. The family would then start planning for the parties and feasts, reunion with friends, get together with relatives and out of town trips to meet kin and rekindle old friendships. And every child would make known his Christmas wishes he hopes to be granted by the legendary Santa Claus. In the child’s mind, it is the time to be rewarded for being good.
Lest we forget, the essence of Christmas is GIVING. Not the kind of giving that is expecting to receive, but giving to those who can-not give back or return the favor. That is giving out of love. When we celebrate the Christmas season, we are virtually trying to emulate God’s love for us his creatures by giving His only Son to us that we may live. Surely, we cannot reciprocate that favor. But He would want us to do the same to our neighbors. He admonishes us to do good to His children and He will take great pleasure on us. Thus, when we want to celebrate with a feast, invite those who cannot return the favor. For all you know, our Creator will be very pleased and reward our good deeds the way only He would know.
Humbly, I would say that the GREATEST CLUB, the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro has been guided by this concept of giving, through the different service projects de-signed to help the needy. Our Program of Activities and projects undertaken will attest to the fact that RCCDO aims to serve and touch lives of our neighbors in need. The Club is very much alive, not because of the lively debates and discussions on issues and businesses, or the well-attended weekly meetings and enjoyable fellowships and ca-maraderie among fellow Rotarians, the but on the different service projects we have successfully undertaken to be of help to our neighbors. Each one has given his talent, time and resources to make the projects successful knowing fully well that there is no Return on Investment to expect for every-thing he has done.
At the rate such projects are being undertaken, one may be consider that being with the Greatest Club is a very exhausting endeavor. But everyone seems to be so fired up every time we carry on from one project to another. Why is this so? Our efforts to comply with the guidance from higher management or our desire for recognition by our peers and leaders could not be the compelling reasons. I do believe that everyone would gladly work on the club’s service projects out of love for our neighbors in need. The happy smiles, boisterous laughter and numerous messages of gratitude has raised our sense of fulfillment and has done so much to encourage every Rotarian to do some more. And that is the essence of Christmas – giving love not only on Christmas day, but throughout the years. All for the glory of God
RTN. DANILO T. EMPEDRAD