FAITH AND FAMILY FRIDAY

With Christmas right around the corner, I thought I would write a little story about what the holiday means to me. First and foremost, Christmas is about the birth of our Savior, Jesus. I love to read about the journey of Mary and Joseph, the obstacles they faced, the birth of Jesus, the star that led the Wise men and the Shepard to the barn, and the angel who watched over the newborn King.  The story never gets old.

Its meaning is even more important to me now, especially since I am getting older.  Although I do not consider myself old, I am realistic enough to know that I have lived more years, than I have yet to live.

It’s funny how time changes things, like how we perceive what is essential in our lives.  When I was a child, I thought like a child, wanting all those things that every little girl would like to find under the Christmas tree. Although we always had a lovely holiday, It was modest. However, It did not stop me from wanting it.

As I became a teenager and understood that money was sometimes tight, my list became shorter, wanting my younger siblings to get a few more things they asked Santa for. The change in my way of thinking was starting to take root in my heart. It was subtle but it was there.

Before long I was married, with children of my own. I must admit, it was important to me for some reason, a reason, I question now, to give them a perfect Christmas.  Seeing their smiling faces, their bodies jumping up and down, and feeling their hugs, warmed my heart. It seemed my way of thinking had taken a step back.

Now, I must admit, that when the Grandchildren came along, the need to make Christmas special continued. Sometimes I think it was because I missed them so much. Everybody was and still is busy beyond words. Christmas was a day when everyone was under one roof. I believe that seeing their excitement and happiness somehow filled my heart with the days, hours and minutes that I craved and still do.  My way of thinking was a cover-up for what I truly needed.

Fast forward again to my Great Grandchildren and a subtle change that started where it ended so many years ago.

 I finally understood that what I had been missing could not be found in presents, whether giving or getting.

 Yes, there will be few presents under the tree. Presents that I am sure will bring a smile to their faces.

 However, It is more important that they really see who I am at this time in my life. Time is the gift that I want to give each one of them. And time is what I would like to have with each of them. Time is not just sitting with Mom, Grandma, or Gigi, always talking about the past, but a time to learn and grow. A time to reach out and help others. A time where one heart can learn from the other. A time to laugh to you cry. Time just to be.  Wow, I would just love that.

Now, I must admit that I keep myself plenty busy, but there is a reason. It heals my heart. When I remind my children to slow down and enjoy life, they all respond,  “We had a good teacher; you.”  They are right. I was swamped being a Mom and working. However, I want them to know that was then, and this is now. I want them to realize that one day they will be my age and want a gift that cannot be wrapped up.

When I go out to visit seniors, my heart breaks for the loneliness I see. I feel the pleading for what they want and need; time with those they love. Time means different things to different people. Spending an hour a week with these precious men and women who have lived long and learned so many valuable lessons, would bring happiness to each of them.  And, I believe, would bring joy to the visitor.

Who can you spend time with this holiday season?

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