May We All Keep Christmas Well
It’s Christmas Eve. And if you’re lucky, you are gathering with your family and friends to celebrate the Joy and Love that Christmas brings.
Not everyone is that lucky, though. Many are spending Christmas alone. Some are homeless and some are sick. Some shiver in the desperate cold of the unlit forgotten alleys of this world.
Then there are those of us who are blessed with children and grandchildren. My two amazing kids have made their way in the world and I’m so proud of them both.
This year for the second Christmas Eve in a row, my kids won’t be coming home with their kids. For the second year in a row our annual Christmas gathering won’t take place. And… at first, the thought of that ate at me. It gnawed at my soul. And I’ll admit it – it hurt. But like every one of you, I have a choice. I can choose to be miserable and count the blessings I won’t have this year.
Or I can choose to count the blessing I do have and remember that life does not always unfold the way we want it to. And by accepting that there is nothing so certain as change and counting all the many blessings I have, this Christmas Eve will be different. I won’t be lonely because I have memories to relive and blessings to count.
And of both I have many. And, I bet that you do too.
When I was young, I used to visit my grandparents on Christmas Eve – but only for an hour or so and then I was off with my friends. After I left their house I never gave a thought about them sitting there alone after I had gone. And I used to spend Christmas morning with my parents. We’d open gifts and then I’d hurry off to spend the rest of the day with my friends.
Young people are often not the most thoughtful, I guess. But that doesn’t make them wrong. We were all young people once and I’m betting I was not the only one who wasn’t always thoughtful.
When I was young the thought of me being a parent, heaven forbid a grandparent, was as foreign to me as setting foot on the planet Mars.
It’s funny how life goes in circles, isn’t it?
This Christmas Eve, my house will be quiet. My kids and my grandchildren won’t be coming home for our annual Christmas Eve family gathering.
Friends drift away and death whittled away at my family as it does to all families. Things change and time goes on. I am not going wallow in the sadness by counting the blessings I’m missing – I’m going to celebrate by counting the many blessings that I have.
Last year. our traditional Christmas was interrupted because my youngest was a thousand miles away helping to serve a free Christmas dinner to the poor. He and his troupe hope to serve hot food and good cheer to over 5000 homeless people and their families.
How lucky I am to have a son like that! A blessing indeed.
And my other son, he’s off visiting with his wife’s family for Christmas Eve. But you know what he does? Every Thursday, he takes the time to driver 45 minutes out of his day to take me out to lunch. No, he doesn’t feel sorry for the “old man”, he does it because he enjoys our time together – and so do I.
I am so blessed.
Indeed, I have many blessings to count and I will. It makes no sense to sit here and be miserable and count the few blessings I don’t have.
And I will be blessed with family too. We are all going to gather over the Christmas Holidays – we just won’t all be together at the same time. A minor point of timing – certainly not the lack of blessings!
I will take time on this Christmas Eve and count the many blessings and gifts I have been blessed with. I won’t spend even one second pondering the things I don’t have. This Christmas Even I’m going take the time to remember how lucky I am to have the wonderful children and grandchildren I have and to have all of the memories we have shared. And good Lord willing, have yet to share.
I have a great many blessings to count!
Christmas is a special time. It’s a time for counting our blessings and for remembering those who are less fortunate than us. It’s a time for sharing and a time for caring. It’s a time to forgive and to forget. It’s a time for giving. It’s a time for doing the all the things Jesus taught us to do.
No matter what your situation is this Christmas, I know you that you have more blessings and gifts to count than you know. I hope this Christmas that you take the time to count them all.
I hope your Christmas is filled with family, friends, good times, and good cheer. And most of all, may your Christmas be filled with Love.
As Charles Dickens wrote in “A Christmas Carol”:
Narrator of Scrooge: “And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!’’
Tiny Tim: “God bless Us, Every One!”
May we all keep Christmas well!