Merry Christmas to each and everyone! What a wonderful time of year. The smell of cinnamon fills the air. Snowflakes are making blankets to make the fields look majestic. People snuggle up to some hot chocolate by a warm fireplace. Children await this morning to open gifts. And the rest of us spend time with our families feasting over turkey or ham or even tofurkey! Everything seems perfect!
That’s the way it seems. Some have a more difficult time embracing the season. Year end can mean financial difficulties for some families. Maybe this year, you can’t afford a family feast, or the perfect gift for your special someone. Maybe for you, it’s the first or one of too many Christmases without someone dear to you. Maybe you’re battling with your own health or the health of someone you love. Maybe you feel like the spirit of Christmas just hasn’t yet filled your heart.
There are many speculations about the day Jesus was born. I’m really no expert. It has been said that Christmas marks that very special day in history. Whether you believe or are not a believer, the story is one of hope and of faith. Imagine having nothing but the clothes on your back. Imagine a cold winter day such as this. Imagine going into labour with your child and having no where to birth him except on a bale of hay in a manger. But such hardship would lead to Jesus.
Right after the birth of Jesus, silver and gold and precious gifts would be delivered. Jesus would go on to save lives from illness and poverty and hopeless life styles. He would be forgiving and kind and full of love. He would be generous and he would bless the earth in ways it had never been blessed before.
All this to say that there is always hope. If you find yourself in a place of desperation like Mary and Joseph – the parents of Jesus in that little manger in the little town of Bethlehem on the coldest of nights with nothing but a pregnant belly and swaddling cloth, know that the best is yet to come. Know that your strength is what will carry you through to great miracles. Know that what you can birth out of your own hardship can change the world.
Celebrate each day as it is a blessing to be alive! And especially celebrate today. No matter your means, you’re never alone. However much it may feel like the universe has dealt you a bad set if cards. A merry heart is the best medicine! Be with family. Over a turkey or a ham or a tofurkey or even plain bread and maybe wine. Go out and embrace the cold with snowmen and snow angels. Get out and ice skate or toboggan. Go to a shelter and give as you would want to be given to. Go to a shelter and receive as you so deserve to be given to. Be with family or with friends and be with God if you believe. Just have faith that good things come if you can just believe in a little Christmas miracle.
All this is not to say that it’s bad to grieve. Or that you must forget the past and those you’ve lost or what you’ve lost. But know, you’re not alone. Life is for the living. Embracing each day and each moment and living life to its full potential truly does remove the weight of sorrow and the toll that can take on your life.
For me, Christmas is a reminder of my mother. A women who so loved the season. Her baking would fill the smell of the house. And her joy and laughter and smiles would overwhelm me with love. It didn’t seem to matter what was under the Christmas tree. She struggled to afford much. And sometimes Christmas dinner might have seemed sparse. But it was perfect. Each Christmas with her was perfect. Because she didn’t focus on what we didn’t have. She embraced what we did have and she made the best out of it. I thank her dr teaching me that it’s not about getting what you want and eating a traditional meal.
Most of us have today off because we need rest. From the hustle and bustle of the season and every day work. We need time with family and with friends to remind us, it’s all about sharing life with others. We are truly just one big family. We have today off to celebrate miracles. And if you don’t have today off you might have one in the days to come. Take this time off to be grateful for the people in your life. For the opportunity to rest. And celebrate, however you can. Because when you celebrate you place a little merriment in your heart. That same merriment that Mary had at the birth of Jesus that turned their life of hardship into the greatest miracle this world has seen. A merry heart is the greatest medicine.
Merry Christmas. May 2014 be a year for miracles! So much love to you all!