Merry Christmas, everyone! For many of you, Christmas is already over. As of now, I still have 14 minutes, but the day will probably be over before I finish this post. I didn’t want to miss the chance, though, to send my love and well wished to all of you. To those of you I know but were not physically with today, know that I love and miss you very much. For those of you who I do not know personally, know that you are loved. During this time of year, it seems people are reminded of either how much they are loved or how lonely they feel. I hope you belong to the former. We all have people we miss this time of year, loved ones who have died or who are far away. However, we are never alone. Regardless of the distance separating you from yours, I hope you remember how loved you truly are.
When I was a kid, it seems I always heard the mantra “It’s better to give than receive” often during the Christmas season. This year, though, I’m especially mindful of everything I have been given. December has not been the friendliest month, and, unfortunately, its unpleasantness is not quite over. These difficult times make me especially thankful for everything I do have–being able to spend the holidays with my family, the joy and laughter our traditions bring, the same arguments we have every year, having more than enough food, the roof over our head, the space heater in my room that keeps out the cold (since the upstairs of my parents’ house doesn’t have any heat), the many amazing opportunities I’ve had this past year and the ones to come in the new year, my truly amazing friends, the joy of Christmas with little ones around again, the fact that my niece might still believe in Santa, though I’m not sure if she actually does or if she plays along because she knows her mom wants her to still believe. I have so many things to be thankful for, some big, some small.
Regardless of your situation, regardless of how alone you may feel, regardless of how bleak the situation may seem, I hope you will stop and pause for a few moments to remember the good. Remember the many good times you had this year. Remember the many, many blessings. Remember the friends and family who have made you feel loved and special this year. Feel the joy in the memories of those you have lost. Stop, pause. And be thankful.