And So This is Christmas

And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?

            Amid the commercial frenzy of gift buying it is worth the time to stop and think about what you are thankful for. It is a wonderful time to recognize the value of the people in your life. It is a great time to help others less fortunate.

            I am by no means a Scrooge. When it comes to Christmas gifts I have to be reigned in because I am too eager to keep on buying presents for my family. Presents are a nice physical expression of your connection with others but I would trade any gift for more time spent together. Time is something you never get back. There are no refunds, rain checks or sales. It is only for the moment and then it is gone. I treasure the moments I have with my family. The very rare times when both my daughters can come together and complete our small family are wonderful gifts that I cherish.

            There is a lot of good will that happens this time of year. People are more effusive, more cheery, more sentimental. I think all of that is a good thing. We walk around too much of the time with our feelings bottled up inside, almost afraid that if we share them somehow we will be judged and found to be lacking. I feel the opposite. I think we need to open up more and to tell the people that matter to you how you feel about them. To be willing to put your emotions on the outside instead of concealed within. To walk up and give someone a hug and mean it.

            I love this part of Christmas because more people will accept that hug and not be threatened by you entering their personal space. I’d love to start a tidal wave of hugs, where that one hug then encourages someone else to go outside their comfort zone and give someone else a hug and see if it could continue.

            It’s a great time of year to help others. Reaching into my pocket as I approach someone collecting for the Salvation Army outside a store seems like the most natural thing to do. There are so many worthwhile charities and they all need help so while you are busy spending money on gifts for people who may not really need anything why not pick a cause and send some money that will go to someone who actually needs some help. And its not just people, there are many animal causes you can support. Groups like PETA that tirelessly fight for animal rights and protection. We can all do something and all you need to decide is who it is that you will help.

            As Christmas draws near I hope that more people can capture that desire to share something of themselves with others. If we all started with our family and friends and took a moment to express how we felt about them I think it would go a long way towards making us all better people. I believe we all have an enormous capacity to care for others but what can happen is our own self-consciousness sometimes gets in the way. Christmas provides a chance for that door to open up and I encourage everyone to step through and embrace what’s on the other side.

            I hope there is an opportunity for everyone to come together over this Holiday Season.

Much Peace and Love