‘In the end, stuff rots, falls apart, breaks. Acts of kindness and love do not.’: Man shares ‘invaluable’ email on meaning of Christmas

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“Several years ago we received this remarkable email. We believe it was written by a counselor who signed it ‘Ceep.’ It’s message is timeless and invaluable. This is our Christmas Card again this year.

Dear Brave Souls,

What matters this Christmas, a reminder, I know you know this in your bones:

What matters, is that you arrive, show up, open the door with a smile that starts at your heart and shines outward…

Stuff doesn’t matter.

What matters, just this one day, is that you tell each soul you love, that you love them, appreciate that they are on earth and that your life would be poorer without them…

Stuff doesn’t matter.

What matters, just this one day, is that you tell a little story,

Sing a little song,

Tell a funny joke,

Help carry people’s coats.

Pat children on the head,

Listen to the old people for a bit,

Ask after everyone’s pets,

tease the teenagers about their sweethearts.

Tell the gawky ones they’re soon going to be tall and even finer looking,

Tell the awkwardly dressed how fine they shine in spirit and mind,

Criticize nothing,

including oneself.

brownie snowman on a plate
Courtesy of Chris Atherton

Bless everything that can be blessed,

Say only what is in your best heart and leave the b.s. that is day-to-day irritations and judgments, behind for this one day…

Stuff doesn’t matter.

What matters is that we, just for today, accept people just as they are.

All messy, undone, wound up, not well, unhappy, frightened, over the edge, out of it.

All the other things that poor souls on earth can get themselves into or are pushed into through no fault of their own.

You cannot go wrong by having mercy on the sick, clothing the naked psyche that shivers in the cold, and feeding the spiritually hungry and calming and comforting and loving others…

Stuff doesn’t matter.

Whatever you have already bought as gifts for others– it is enough already.

One more tinker toy or toilet seat doily is not going to make one whit of difference in your final grade.

One more candy dandy anything is not going to show your love, regard, or interest in others better than your kindest heart, being present at the feast. In the end, stuff rots, falls apart, breaks, are consumed.

But acts of kindness and of love do not deteriorate…

Stuff doesn’t matter, I assure you.

What matters?

You matter.

little kid in the winter building a snowman
Courtesy of Chris Atherton

The fact that you are here, are human, are filled with love, matters.

Even if you don’t feel that way.

You were made for one thing far more than others,

That is to learn to love and to give and receive love on earth.

The fact that you are given this time on earth to learn and to bring these goodnesses to life,

That is what matters.

The heart is fully equipped and fully READY for Christmas ALWAYS.

It needs no shopping malls, no stores, no wrapping paper, no ribbons.

It costs only in resolve, in discipline, in filling it on a regular basis from one’s own spiritual well.

Your heartfulness is the greatest GIFT you can give.

I am sure of this.

You could give me a new wardrobe or you could give me a Taj Mahal, or you could give me a Ferrari, but they all would fall to dust in time, and the enjoyment of them would fall away from bright memory.

But if you give me your loyalty,

Your concern,

Your regard,

Your inquiry into my life,

Your faithfulness…

If you comfort me,

Make me laugh,

Reaffirm that I am on earth with a purpose and a reason,

There is a place in your heart for me…

Then you have given the gift that lasts forever…


christmas tree with yellow lights and sunflowers
Courtesy of Chris Atherton

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Chris Atherton. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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