While many families cherish the tradition of opening presents that are placed under the Christmas tree, one tradition worth considering places an extra gift for the poor.
This tradition is even recorded by the Vatican’s Directory on popular pietyand the liturgy.
“Gifts” can be added; but among the gifts placed under the tree, something should be included for the poor since they belong to every Christian family.
While not widely practiced, this tradition can be a potent reminder on Christmas day of the poor and their situation.
It’s easy to forget about the poor when you are ripping open presents and rejoicing at all the gifts you have received from others. The lonely gift for the poor under the Christmas tree can remind us of our obligation to serve the poor and to think about others, not only ourselves.
When evaluating your family’s Christmas traditions, consider placing a gift under the Christmas tree that you will later give to the poor.