Happy Holidays

Well here it is, another Christmas is soon upon us. This year it will definitely be harder to celebrate due to my father-in-law’s death in July.  We would spend it with him and now it will just be the four of us here.  It will be sad as there will be one less setting at the table. But then again, with everything that has been happening lately, there are many households around the nation that will be feeling the same sorrow.  But that is not what I want to write about. There is enough heartache to go around lately.  I want to bring some holiday cheer, or at least try.

This is the festive time of year to enjoy time with loved ones.  It should not be about finding the ‘perfect’ gift because, let’s face it, there is no such thing.  Instead of making yourself anxious by fighting the crowds in the stores, the obnoxious snarls of traffic on the road, and the constant exhausting running around trying to do everything, just take some time to s-l-o-w down.  Please.  For the good of your family and for the good (and sanity) of yourself.

We don’t exchange gifts in my house any longer, and as a family we are good with that.  It might sound clichéd but I am happier just to spend time with my family, loving them and seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter.  I revel in it.  Life is so precious and, sadly many times, painfully short. Love those family members who are around you.  Stop focusing on what you are getting and instead do some giving:  of your time.

Some family members you only see around the holidays.  For some families it’s a time of warmth and blessing, and for others a living hell.  I can’t even begin to understand how some families can’t seem to get along, but I know that it happens. That’s so sad.  To struggle with forgiveness at this time of year must be incredibly hard to bear.  I pray that these families can find the strength to reconcile, to finally have peace in their lives and in their homes.

So come on, blast those old favorite Christmas carols, and belt them out as loud as you can.  My favorite has always been Nat King Cole.  He had a spectacular voice.  So calming, I think.  Have some eggnog, sans the rum if driving, please.  Be safe out there, dear friends.  Go to Christmas Eve service if you so choose.  Gather with other who worship the way that you do.  Always more awe-inspiring to share those precious times with like-minded people.  Exchange gifts.  Be thankful for each one,  even if it’s not the ‘perfect’ gift that you were expecting.  Have a wonderful hearty meal and save room for dessert.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, whichever you prefer.  God bless you and protect you during this season.  May your hearts be light.  May your wishes and dreams all come true.  May love surround you and wrap you snugly.  May peace reign.  And,  if you are needing to or needing it, may forgiveness be given or found this precious season.

The Preciousness of Life

This wasn’t the blog I wanted to post this time.  I had a different one all planned out about accepting ourselves as we are as well as others, but something occured earlier this week that changed my mind.  I had a friend lose a daughter.  Death is never easy to accept.  But when it is your own child, I cannot even begin to fathom the depth of their despair and sorrow.  Life is precious.  No matter how old one is, life is golden.  We should never take it for granted.  We are to live each day to the fullest.  We are to be thankful for each day we are given.  Each day is a new opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family, to do the things we like to do, and just to learn a new truth about ourselves.  God is the giver of life.  He gives us all a certain number of days on this earth and then it’s time to go home to Him.  Our children, especially, are so important and precious to us.  As Moms, we carry them within us for nine months, go through the pain of childbirth, and nurture them, feed them, lose sleep and shower time for them.  We teach them how to drink from a cup, hold a spoon, feed themselves, dress themselves, use the bathroom, wash themselves, etc.  So many things that parents teach their children.  We revel in their first smile, their contagious laughter, their warm hugs, jelly-sticky kisses, and just-for-Mom crayon-drawn pictures that we proudly hang up on the refrigerator.  We love them.  We do our best to keep them safe:  bicycle helmets and cell phones to call us when needed.  We want them to be happy, healthy, and strong.  Our worst fear as parents is that our child will come down with some dreaded illness.  We want our children to far outlive us.  No parent in their right mind would want to loss their child before they themselves passed on.  I remember when my boys were small and if they were sick, I would check in on them while they were sleeping just to make sure that they were still breathing; alive.  Maybe that sounds a bit overboard, but nothing strikes fear deeper into a parent’s heart, is for something to go terribly wrong with their children.  So each day, we are to spend time with them, no matter how old they are at this present time.  Tell them, each day, how much you care about them, and how much you love them.  For unfortunately we never know when the last day will be.  So hold your child close, tell them how important they are.  For they are precious in your sight, as well as the Lord’s sight.  My heart goes out to my friend who just lost her daughter.  I can’t even begin to image how many tears have been shed.  How heart-wrenching the grief.  My prayer is for her and her family.  May God grant them comfort during this time, and I extend those prayers to all those grieving parents out there who have love and lost a precious child.  Life is so precious.  Let us never forget that.