As 2012 winds down, it is a time to reflect on what we have accomplished this year and the items still left to complete. During the Christmas season, the list can be especially lengthy. There are gifts to purchase for family and friends, decorations to put up, cards to send, groceries to purchase and special meals to plan and prepare. How fortunate many of us are able to do these things. Do you feel grateful?
Recently I watched a woman struggled to get out of the car at the store. I realized how much I take for granted; the ability to get in and out of my car easily, drive to the stores I wish to go to and be able to find and purchase the items I want. For many people these seemingly simple tasks are monumental. For me it was a reminder to be thankful and grateful that I am able to complete these tasks.
Christmas time can also be very lonely for many people. They may be estranged from their families and loved ones. Or these people may live at a great distance and be unable to visit over the holidays. Sadly, their loved ones may have died and this is the first holiday season that they do not physically have their loved ones with them.
The year of firsts – first birthday, mother or father’s day, anniversary, Christmas without that loved one can be overwhelmingly painful for many people. Many people have shared with me that they wish their families would call or visit more often, especially their grandchildren. They lament that it would make their day so much happier if they had a short call or an email. It only takes a moment to make someone’s day. Perhaps today is the day you can reach out and connect with someone who has been on your mind. If you take that bit of time it will be well received. I think for younger people in particular, they tend to forget that most days are very long for their parents or grandparents. A simple call, even if you leave a message, will be cherished.
During this season of gratitude we can also reflect on our wonderful Canadian society. We are able to enjoy freedoms, security and supplies that we tend to take for granted. Pause for a moment and think how Christmas season would look if you lived in other parts of the world. We have much to be grateful for living in Canada. But there are families living in Canada who struggle as well. Look for ways to contribute – food banks, Salvation Army, churches, etc. You will be so appreciated.
I truly hope that during this holiday season a sense of gratitude will warm your heart and that you are able to reach out and share wonderful times with your loved ones.
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