Throwing Shade

JUSTIN MITCHELL: This Christmas, remember to pay it forward

As usual, Santa was too good to me this year. Even at 25-years-old, I drive home every year on Christmas Eve and sleep at home so I can enjoy opening gifts with my family.

My mother always goes overboard and makes sure my little brother and I get whatever is on our list--whether we're naughty or nice. Believe me, we're mostly naughty.

I don't come home as often as I should, and my little brother's potty mouth rivals the rudeness of ex-American Idol host Simon Cowell. Still, Santa always comes and never leaves coal.

The most rewarding part of being an semi-responsible adult is being able to give back to the person who has gone without to give me everything I could ever want and more during the holiday season.

Throughout high school and college, I would try to buy my mother one gift if I could save up the extra cash. Now, I can buy her everything on her list, even though she always says she doesn't want anything.

Before she met my step-dad, my mom worked two to three jobs to make ends meet and keep me in T-ball and gymnastics. She worked and worked to make sure I had the best education and nice clothes and often went without for herself. There's nothing that makes me happier than also playing Santa on Christmas Eve and watching my mom's face light up as she opens her gifts.

Throughout the holiday season, I urge you to remember to pay it forward. Help a person in need, adopt an angel or tip your waitress a little extra if you're dining the week before Christmas. Most importantly, make time for those you love and remember to count your blessings.