From the title, you probably think I’m some kind of Grinch. Believe me, that could not be further from the truth. I actually love Christmas, and it is my absolutely favorite holiday. I love the lights, the family time, and the overall joviality of the season. It ‘s almost as if something is in the air that makes everyone happy and loving towards one another. This Christmas, though, has been different for me. In past Christmas’, I was so focused on what I would receive under my Christmas tree, and how many people would send me Christmas greetings. I focused more on receiving than giving, and lost the fact that Christmas is supposed to celebrate Christ first. Looking around at the world today, I saw that magnified. People were focused on buying all sorts of gifts to show the love that should be shown every day. Instead of the celebration of His birth, there was a celebration of the sales and people being able to add to their already vast collection of goods. To that mentality, I said “Bah, Humbug”! Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE gifts. I love opening up presents and seeing what’s inside. However, I found that this year I was more focused on what I could give to others. I sought out to spread love and cheer, and to give in whatever way I could to bring smiles to others. In that endeavor, I found a level of peace and joy in this Christmas than I have ever felt before. I did not have to have a big family Christmas, nor did there have to be a plethora of gifts under my tree. What I wanted most was to love and be loved, and to celebrate the reason that we have a Christmas. I gave to others out of a genuine desire for them to know that they are loved, and in that was my reward. I discovered, again, the blessing of Christmas. So, maybe you did not receive all that you desired. Maybe it seems no one cared enough to pay you attention. Maybe it seemed like this season has been a combination of hurt, sorrow, and being overlooked. Just know that if no one else sees you or cares for you, I do. Yes, that can seem crazy if we have never met, but I have enough love in my heart to send some to you wherever you are. Remember to spend time loving and giving, and what you receive in return from all of that will matter more than any physical gift that only fulfills a temporary want. So, a very Merry Christmas to you and yours, and so much love to you from one human to another. Blessings.
Brace yourselves! Get ready for the new years resolutions and big plans for 2016! It’s normal…it’s coming. Many are excited about the great things that happened in this year, and eagerly awaiting what will come next, but what about the people who look at their year and feel like they have failed? What about those who had so many plans they felt they needed to accomplish, but it seems that the year just went by entirely too quickly? Did they fail? Was their year in vain? Not at all. We have all had some things we wanted to accomplish this past year. Some things we have “rocked out of the park” while others things got laid aside as we focused on the business of life. I had a conversation with a friend yesterday regarding a vision board I created at the beginning of the year. I found myself looking at the board, and checking off the things I had not completed or even come close to seeing. Instead of looking at the things that were accomplished, I still found myself wanting to focus on those things left undone. As I talked to her, I began to recognize my own negative thinking, and I realized that, really, I had a great year. Everything did not go as planned. Some things worked out in a completely unexpected way, but one thing remains…I made it through another year. So, regardless of what you have not seen or done, know that you have accomplished a lot just by making it to this point in the year. You are still in your right mind. You are still able to smile. You are still able to see the light at the end of the tunnel…and if you are reading this, know that now is not the end, but it is a beginning. There really are great things ahead, so don’t take any chances. Go after it.