With midterm madness now well behind, us CBU students are finally able to begin busily and cheerfully anticipating the holiday season. This means a few different things, of course – primarily that our schedules have become so dense, we’re sometimes struggling to breathe. But reassurance is found in the fact that the density is a very, very good thing.

With the holiday season comes the everlasting joy of Christmas music, spilling its luminosity into every apartment on campus… November generally means cozy sweaters and snug boots (unless of course you live in Riverside, but who’s complaining?), and even a tangible excuse for every great pessimist to be thankful. Theoretically, the holiday season really is “the most wonderful time of the year.”

But is it, truly, for all those living beyond the gates of Cal Baptist? Often times as Americans, and especially as American college students who are fortunate enough to attend such a magnificent school, we become enveloped in the dangers of narrow-mindedness… and we forget to remember.

We forget to remember that 80% of the world’s population survives on less than $10 every day, and that almost half of the world survives on less than $2.50 every day. We forget about the millions of families around the world who will be unable to hide from winter’s cruel, cold grasp, instead of enjoying that annual Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey amongst the fellowship of loved ones.

Cal Baptist is striving this holiday season to help fight the misery that this time of year often finds so many children around the world in. This year, CBU will be hosting two “packing parties” to emphasize the ministry of Operation Christmas Child. Through this emphasis, CBU students have the opportunity to help provide thousands of less-fortunate kids between the ages of two and fourteen years old with a shoebox full of small gift items. Some of these kids will receive toys and candy, some will receive socks or mittens, and some might even receive some brand new school supplies or hygiene items… But all of them will be blessed.

The Bible says in Acts 20:35 – “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

This holiday season, readers, enjoy that seasonal turkey amongst the fellowship of loved ones, and blast those Christmas tunes. Inhale the intoxicating cinnamons and nutmegs that spike the air in every craft store each November, enjoy a few candy canes, and steal a kiss under the mistletoe – do all of these things joyfully, as they only come knocking once a year, but understand that the presence of that joy is a gift stemming from the ultimate gift of Christ’s sacrifice.

Most importantly, readers, just take the time to remember. This gift is not one to be hidden away for our own advantage, but one to be shared generously with those around the world who desperately need it. So I encourage you all to think and research – decide on a way in which you can make a joyful impact this holiday season.

The opportunities are limitless, and simply require that we all remember.

Cheers! And all the best to you and yours this holiday season,

Natalie