Christmas is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons - tamales, hot cocoa, baking, cooler temperatures (yes, I’m from South Texas), and seeing the expressions on my family’s faces when they open the gifts I spent time and money on trying to get just right. But in an era when Christmas has become over-commercialized (gee, I saw Christmas decorations out at a store before Halloween), it’s wonderful to know that the team I love and support, the San Antonio Spurs, understands the true meaning of Christmas - giving of yourself and your time.
This year we saw several public examples of the Spurs giving to their community.
On December 12, Pau Gasol, Bryn Forbes, and Patty Mills helped The Children’s Shelter of San Antonio with their Basso and Friends Christmas Carnival.
The Children’s Shelter puts children first by providing a safe, trauma-focused place for children in crisis whether the need is for immediate shelter, residential treatment, foster or adoptive homes. We work to strengthen families in order to break the cycle of child abuse and offer specialized mental health services for children affected by maltreatment.
Great afternoon at @Child_Shelter! @BrynjForbes, @Patty_Mills and I had a lot of fun at the Basso & Friends Christmas Carnival ☃, signing autographs and contributing to this great initiative.— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) December 13, 2018
Thanks to @HEB and everyone involved!
Do you like my Santa hat? pic.twitter.com/uOr0bxxR0J
Even the Spurs Coyote got into the act.
On December 14, several Spurs were actively helping the San Antonio community and spreading the Christmas spirit.
Marco Belinelli helped Methodist Healthcare San Antonio give away Christmas trees to families in need.
Gregg Popovich and Derrick White got into the Christmas spirit by giving away hundreds of shoes to the children at Pershing Elementary as part of the Shoes That Fit program whose vision is:
A new pair of shoes can be a life-changing event for a child. School attendance, self-esteem and behavior improve. Physical activity increases. Smiles return. All from an often over-looked item—a good pair of shoes.
"Seeing their faces when you hand them shoes, it's indescribable."— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 14, 2018
Earlier this week, Coach Pop and @Dwhite921 surprised every student at Pershing Elementary with new kicks through a donation to @ShoesThatFit. #SeasonOfGiving pic.twitter.com/dNK8KCVfDr
Pau Gasol made a trip to San Antonio Methodist Children’s Hospital to visit with the kids, sign some autographs, take some pictures, give some gifts, and just spread Christmas cheer. (He visits the hospital several times a year.) The hospital’s promise is:
The evolution of culture is ultimately determined by the amount of love, understanding and freedom experienced by its children . . . every empathic act that helps a child become what he or she wants to become, every expression of love toward children heals society and moves it in unexpected, wondrous new directions.
Siempre es especial compartir momentos con los niños y niñas del Methodist Children's Hospital de San Antonio #TuLuchasYoLucho— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) December 15, 2018
It's always special to share moments with the children of the San Antonio Methodist Children's Hospital #YouFightIFight#ThisIsWhyWePlay pic.twitter.com/H2YFSmkvio
Rudy Gay played Santa for the Elf Louise Christmas Project on December 23 and visited several families to “reaffirm the true spirit of Christmas through anonymous giving.” The project began in 1969 by a Trinity University student who was moved by a letter to Santa.
"It feels good to be able to give Christmas to people. It's the season of giving."— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) December 23, 2018
Santa let @RudyGay borrow his suit a few days early to help pass out gifts and tickets to families in San Antonio with @ElfLouiseSA! pic.twitter.com/BINPrcqPiF
Rookie Lonnie Walker IV got into the Christmas spirit by surprising kids back in Reading, PA with a motivational video.
Special shoutout again to @lonniewalker_4 for not only making these kids’ Christmas, but motivating them for the rest of their lives. Appreciate you kid! #JustAKidFromReading #WeGiveYouGrow https://t.co/TEMynkrBLm— Mac (@CoachMac_GnG) December 23, 2018
The Spurs may not be playing in the big Christmas Day NBA games, but they are truly displaying the big Christmas spirit. While we may not have their basketball prowess, we can emulate their off-the-court moves. Volunteer to serve a meal at a homeless shelter. Donate some clothes or food to people in need. Spend some time offering comfort and cheer to those who are suffering. Don’t forget that Christmas is more than the giving of consumer goods, it’s about giving of ourselves to those in need.
Merry Christmas, Pounders.