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As we approach Christmas, I thought it would be fitting to add an extra post. I hope it encourages you.
As a child I remember going to a tree farm to cut our Christmas tree down every year until I was at least 10. I remember the tree was always tall and full. Once home we would usually set the tree outside overnight to make sure all the bugs and rodents were out of it. That next night we would decorate it together. I was in charge of lights. That meant I had to plug them in and make sure they were all in good working condition prior to placing them on the tree. Once the tree was all decorated I would sit on the couch and watch the lights flicker on and off. I could do this for hours. It was something magical for me as boy. I’m still not quite sure what it was, but I have always loved this time of year. Although I’m not visiting any tree farms these days, I do continue the tradition of selecting the tree as a family and decorating it together with my favorite Christmas music playing. I’ve even added making homemade hot chocolate as a new memory for my children to pass along to their children when they become parents one day.
As I reflect on my fond memories, it brings a smile to my face, but I can’t help but think about those many families who would rather sleep through this day. Their memories aren’t so joyous and fond. As many families celebrate the occasion, exchange gifts and enjoy one another’s company, there are still many that will be alone, forgotten and deeply saddened during this time. Today I ask that you say a prayer and reach out to give love to someone who is in true need. Not just a dollar, not just a smile but something that will bring joy to their heart. We all have those moments where we know someone in need and we can do something more about it.
Maybe it’s just that you make yourself available to listen to someone and hear their heart without adding your opinion.
Let’s not stand on the sidelines this year. There are those that are estranged from their families for various reasons and others that have experienced the loss of loved ones, and the holiday season only reminds them of the void that now exist in their lives. Then there are those that truly are alone. No family or close friends to speak of. Honestly I can’t imagine what this feels like, but my heart goes out to you that do know and live this reality daily.
Today, let us consider the broken-hearted, the lonely men afraid to share their feelings, the battered women, abused and neglected children, estranged families, the sick and feeble, the homeless, the impoverished and the depressed. Let’s be a light to them and if at all possible bring some joy into their world.
I pray that this day is better than last years and that it will continue to become better as time moves forward. I pray that any sadness you feel will subside and someone thoughtful, meaningful and with good intentions crosses your path and sheds a little light and love on you. I pray that you remember why you are alive and that you realize that your life is a blessing to someone else, no matter how bad things become. Like me, maybe add something new to your tradition or start some brand new ones.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!