Would it still be a Merry Christmas?

What if there were no presents under the tree this year – or no tree even, to stack presents under? What if your loved one can’t make it home for Christmas because they are incarcerated or fighting a war many, many miles away? What if there’s no turkey or mistletoe to help to make the season bright? What if Santa Claus didn’t come to your town?

 This year, more than others, I have been listening more intently to the words of Christmas carols. What, for you, would make this a merry Christmas? For me, it’s having my family together. My son has been away in college and has not been home since July, but will be here this Christmas. The other day, my youngest child told me that she didn’t care if there were no presents under the tree this year, as long as we could have a family dinner together on Christmas day. That brought tears to my eyes, especially coming from a 12 year old!

 My husband and I have been burdened lately by people facing personal tragedies, especially at this “most wonderful time of the year.” From celebrities in the midst of pain, divorce and tragedy, to everyday people who have lost hope and are struggling under the formidable weight of adverse circumstances.

This Christmas, please spare a thought for those around you for whom Christmas is not a happy time. You may not have the means to give financially to someone in need, but some of the best gifts have little or no monetary value anyway: a prayer, a hug, a phone call, a couple of hours volunteering at a local charity, church, hospital or retirement home. The possibilities are endless – all it takes is a phone call or quick search on the internet. For all you know, you might be someone’s ‘Merry Christmas’ this year!

 So whatever dire circumstances you may be facing right now, take your focus off what you don’t have and put it on what you do have, however small it may seem to you – family, friends, health, time… If  nothing else, enjoy this fleeting season when people are in a good mood because of “Christmas cheer,” whatever the heck that is! Before you know it, it will be gone beginning January 2nd, when the credit card bills start to arrive 😦

 Whatever you do and wherever you are, don’t just wish, make it a MERRY CHRISTMAS, for yourself and at least one other person.