I originally hail from the windy city of Chicago…home of two seasons: Winter and Construction. I like meat well done, potatoes mashed with thick brown gravy made from the meat drippings, and my veggies roasted or sautéed in butter. I like my soup thick and hearty, and no meal is complete without Pillsbury crescent rolls fresh out of the oven.
While it is rare that we actually get a white Christmas in Chicago, we enjoy the crackling fire and the smell of that burning wood from surrounding houses as we walk down our neighborhood streets. We are warmed by twinkling lights, frost on the windows, and children engaging in snowball fights. Families trek across the cities to gather in anticipation of feasts, laughter, and the squeals of delight as children receive treats and presents. I always picture the perfect house as the one in HOME ALONE with that light snowfall. It just looks so warm and inviting from the outside.
We are thankful that no matter how bitter and cold the world may be, our homes offer warmth and comfort in family, friends, and those in need of a friendly smile of support. We have so much to give if we would just let ourselves believe we have the strength to bring hope to the darkest of times.
Even though you may be able to sympathize, or even empathize with someone in their tragedy, you think you understand the terrible walk they endured, you will never truly know the depth of their feelings. Because our walks, no matter how similar they may seem, are always different. Life is full of ups and downs that are meant to grow, expand, teach, and help us overcome. Don’t ever be deceived that you are alone…no one is ever truly alone.
Then there are those that have not experienced tragedy and heartache like others. Take joy and reflect on the many tragedies and experiences you have been spared. Don’t apologize for not being able to empathize with tragedy. There is no fault in having a blessed life free from discontentment, or true tragedy that may be life altering. Be thankful for the love and joy you have experienced, and strive to be that joy in someone else’s life. Perhaps that is your purpose.
I will not ask you to like or share this post (though you are certainly welcome to do so). What I do ask is that you reflect on the things that you are thankful for in this holiday season. For your beliefs, your likes and dislikes, your family, even those that you don’t care for. To close your eyes and just focus on the simple joys of your youth, the tragedies that made you strong, and the events of your life that made you who you are today. Think of the taste of that favorite holiday dish, or the smell of the pine tree soon to be in your living room. Enjoy the thought of your children as they rush to greet friends and long seen family, or the paper you will have to pick up after they open anticipated presents.
The past is where we learn from our mistakes, the future is the hope we cling to, but today is the truest gift of all… known as the present. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone in this holiday season.