|Toast by Richard Jack.|
It's the most wonderful time of the year.Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men
Let your heart be light.
Have a cup of cheer.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, Let nothing you dismay.
From now on, our troubles will be miles away.
Pray for peace, people everywhere...Listen to what I say
All of these lyrics...from the most popular Christmas Carols that we hear over and over again during this season, have a different meaning this year, don't they? They've been around for years, we've been hearing them repeatedly, and yet this year, while wrapping gifts, decorating, and going through the motions, we stop and think. Let your heart be light. How? How do we do that when the sadness weighs it down so much? How do we have a cup of cheer without the guilt, without thinking about the parents who can barely swallow anything but tears right now? How? We can't help but ask this question.
We need a little Christmas...right this very minute. The magic of Christmas. The spirit of Christmas. The belief in Christmas miracles. Regardless of what your beliefs are, what religion you practice, what you celebrate, how you celebrate, we have one common denominator; we are human beings and we ARE responsible for our fellow man. We live on this Earth together. If only we worked together to make it a better place. The Christmas season has known to be the season of giving, the season of forgiving, the season of caring, sharing, and bearing the burdens of people who bear them alone all year long. We give to food pantries, so that no child is hungry for the holidays. We give to Toys For Tots so that every child has a gift waiting for them on Christmas morning. This year we need to give a gift to ourselves. A gift of hope, and a gift of knowing we can make a difference starting with each one of us. A gift to our children - a promise of a better world. We can live richer lives - we can treat each other with more respect - we can look out for our neighbors and friends - and what the hell - even strangers. We can make this year we came together, united to make a difference. It all starts with you...me..him..her. We all share the burden.
As far as Christmas goes, maybe this year the burden that we usually feel in the third week of December from the pressure of gift buying, wrapping, tree trimming, decorating, card mailing, baking, listmaking, doublechecking, elf moving, menu planning, stocking stuffing, last minute shopping, checkbook balancing and miracle working will be taken a little less seriously, with a little less complaining, and a re-focus on the simple things, joys, and peacefulness of the holidays.
If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or anticipate the coming of the Child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life. ~Author Unknown
If you have to simplify this year, then do it. Take the things you love most about Christmas and keep them, focus on them, enjoy them. If it's watching the snow fall outside while sitting by the tree that brings you joy - then do it. If it's wrapping gifts while listening to carols - go for it. If you haven't been to church in years, and the heavenly sounds of a church choir fill your heart with warmth - then put it on your to -do list and do it. If it's immersing yourself in cookie baking and sharing the love, then bake away. All of these things nurture our souls and lift up our hearts a little...and who couldn't use that right now?
What heals a broken heart? My simple answers are love, kindness, warmth, compassion, giving to others, accepting what others have to give...and of course, time. The from-the-belly giggles that my kids release every morning they wake up and run down the stairs and see the tree certainly help it swell again, too. We have a choice - to spend Christmas frazzled, frantic and fearful...or spend it peaceful, content, grateful, hopeful and full of love. I choose to be peaceful - and I hope you do, too.
Until next time, I wish you green lights, blue skies, and an endless supply of love,