Monday, December 2, 2013

Merry Christmas to All and To All a Good Night!

On this night, as I close in on the 66th Christmas of my life, I reflect on so many Christmases Past.

There have been many which included small children with so many memories of rising early and snapping pictures of excited children opening presents. 

Christmas brings back memories for all of us.  Some of them amazingly wonderful...some sad.  Sometimes these are the most difficult days of the year for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one and are facing the first holiday without them. 

I remember one Christmas that always comes back to me at this time of year.  That Christmas in 1968 my husband was in Viet Nam, along with thousands of other young men/husbands/brothers/fathers.  As I sat beneath my Christmas tree on Christmas morning with a 2 month old baby and a 16 month old toddler, I didn't know exactly where my husband was, or if and when he would return.  It was a terribly lonely time.  My parents were stationed overseas and I was really alone except for those two little babes who were too young to understand.  As we go into this Season of Joy I think of all of those mothers and small children going through that same feeling this Christmas.  I am happy that there is SKYPE and email for that many of them can at least see their loved ones.  I am sad for all of those whose loved ones were lost this year.

While Christmas can be the happiest and most joyful season of the year for some, it can be the most painful for others.  I hope that if you know someone who is alone, or needs comforting at this time of year, you will reach out to them to make the season a little easier.  You will never know how just a kind word or invitation to a concert or an offer to babysit while a mom shops can bring joy to someone else.  Christmas really is about sharing.  It is about love and giving to others.  When we are children, the focus seems to be about receiving, about gifts; but as we age, we begin to see that the real blessing in Christmas comes when we GIVE.  We need to remember to give during this Season the way our Heavenly Father has given to us. 

Remember to go to that Christmas Eve service or Midnight Mass and bathe in the joy of the Greatest Gift ever given.



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