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Rochester Central Lutheran School


Allyson Holtz

Christmas gives me the overwhelming feeling of giving, as it is meant to. We were given the greatest gift in a lowly manger so many years ago, and it is up to us to keep that giving spirit alive.

Three weeks ago, a few church members got together to make lefsa. We presold over sixteen dozen to our church members, with all the proceeds returning to our church. We spent that afternoon (and much into the evening) teaching a few youths of our church the art of making lefsa, a time-honored tradition passed onto me by my grandmother. We have made plans to make this an annual fundraiser but will make some adjustments for next year -- like not attempting to make over sixteen dozen in one day!

The Christmas season brings so much joy to many, instilling the feeling of giving as Christ taught us so long ago, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” In that giving spirit, this week, my daughter Cora and I rang bells for Salvation Army, a tradition that started many years ago when our church signed up to take a day at the local grocery store. As I picked her up from school, her teacher and I talked about the civic duty instilled in children when parents take advantage of volunteering opportunities such as these. The first person that walked through the door was an older gentleman. He pulled out a few small bills from his wallet, handed them to my daughter, genuinely thanked us for taking the time to ring for the Salvation Army, and walked into the store. A moment later, he walked back to where we were standing, handed Cora a $100 bill, and said, “Someone needs this more than I do.” The look on Cora’s face was priceless. She understands that people are less fortunate than we are, but seeing someone give so selflessly impacted her. That afternoon we had a great time ringing bells, singing, and celebrating Christmas. Mainly though, we celebrated giving.

Driving away from the grocery store that afternoon, Cora said something simple yet meaningful, “I am glad we did this today. Can we get a small gift for my friend for Christmas?” As a mom, I feel like I made a difference that day.

In the past weeks leading up to Christmas, my buckets have been filled time and time again. The opportunity to give back to our church while passing on traditions that mean so much to me. I also cherish the moments of witnessing such selfless giving.

This Christmas season makes me reflect on the giving heart of the RCLS community. You have filled my buckets with love and grace these past few months as I have grown in my role. I could not be more thankful.

In the giving spirit of the Christmas season, remember RCLS and The Grace Foundation as you complete your year-end giving. Jesus gave all for us, and we continue to learn from His great words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Go to or to donate today.