As we wrap up 2020, and prepare to celebrate the wonders of Christmas, we wanted to wish all our readers a most Joyful and Merry Christmas! It may not resemble the same holiday as in years past, but we hope it is special and meaningful to all. Please remember that while many remain separated from loved ones while we await vaccines and a return to some sense of normalcy, we are all in this together. Nobody should feel alone with a unified hope for the new year and a deep appreciation for the year we have all endured. We wanted to wish three gifts for each of you, and hopefully you will get some or all of these most treasured parts of the holiday season. We are deeply grateful for your continued readership, friendship, and shared love of our beautiful Suncoast.
We hope those around you surround you with abundant attention and grace you with their true presence. It may have cost somebody time, money, or both to gift you with their invaluable presence so please reciprocate in kind with truly being involved in the moments that make up your holiday. Let somebody else get wrapped up in the trivial details of the holiday season of presents. Your presence in its most loving form is all anybody needs. People can feel when others are actively listening and appreciate being truly heard, so lean in and listen intently to yours.
Anyone who says, “Stay away from the sweets around the holidays” has surely not enjoyed Great-Grandma’s homemade chocolates. We all love to indulge in gingerbread man cookies and flavored cocoas. And nothing screams “Christmas” like sugar cutout cookies with all the sprinkles. But try to make sure a good bit of your “sweets” comes from the expressions of love we see all around us. If you look forward to seeing someone every day, tell them.
That adage of “not knowing what someone is dealing with behind the scenes, so be nice” ….it is real. Do not underestimate what your smile and a few kind words can mean to somebody else. You might be the only holiday sweets they receive, so overindulge when it comes to complimenting, giving, or words of praise for those you might not normally consider highlighting. And, in turn, remember that any gesture of love shown toward you is the greatest gift, so savor it.
For all of you trying to scrape together a holiday for your families, we hope you take a moment to appreciate your own efforts in keeping things going. This year has been especially difficult in so many ways and economically it has been harsher on some. It is never too late to instill gratitude for what we do have, whether within our children or ourselves.
Look around and truly see the value of having a home, good health, people who care about you, pets, a job, co-workers you enjoy, even a beautiful garden. There is plenty to make us “rich”– just ask those who may not have what you do. We are all doing our best. This is the year to really thank those who are going out of their way to help others and to really appreciate the little things that always end up mattering the most. Judge your Christmas by the memories made and not gifts given. Besides what is under the tree, there is much to be grateful for.
Photos courtesy of “I Love Christmas” Facebook page.