As you all get an early read on this column, I’m looking ahead to the big day where it’s all about the gift of giving, large or small. Food, presents, family traditions and all that comes with the holidays will replace all the angst, deadlines and pressures we all face each week.
As morning breaks on Christmas Day, over the past couple years especially, I’ve found myself comfortable and warm in my new Christmas pajamas, for what is Christmas without a new pair of PJs or robe, right? A cup of hot tea or hot chocolate in a mug will sit nearby, as I devour just one more of my grandmother’s recipe fresh pecan rolls. I’ve been making these every Christmas Eve for more than a few decades now, first helped by my mom in my teenage years, then picking up the family wooden spoon to make them myself for some time now, and just you never mind how long that has been! The smells, the taste, the anticipation of those coming out of the oven all hot and gooey all means Christmas in our house.
Not everyone has such great holiday memories. And, even now, as I know several of my close friends are struggling with the recent passing of loved ones that will make this a somber holiday much like many of us have all experienced at one time or another, this will be a not-so-easy day for them.
So, too, many families struggling to make ends meet, dealing with life’s unwanted pressures and unexpected tragedies will find their day brightened by the kindness of strangers and the little things in life. Free food given with no questions asked and nothing asked in return, donated freshly-wrapped gifts for kids, who because of circumstances beyond their control find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings, and general good cheer will make for an unexpectedly happy day for many of our readers. We hope so, anyway.
We’ve been part of the secret alliance at the View Newspapers offices for several seasons now, and we once again adopted a family this year and have watched daily as the Toys for
Tots drop bin in our lobby area has been filled to overflowing on the floor. Just the mere thought of the dozens of kids and families whose day will take a muchneeded turn in the positive direction should put a smile on all of our faces, as we watch our own families, young and old, take part in our own holiday traditions. Just picturing all the kids with their unexpected gift of a new baby doll, package of hot wheels, a warm stuffed animal, or new clothes can’t help but make us all smile. Only a sour-faced Grinch could begrudge anyone that little bit of cheer.
Our collective heart-felt good wishes go out to all of our readers, taking into account their many differing circumstances, celebrations and life’s ups and downs. As you go about your day, take just a moment to think about those helped by the generosity and kindness of others and also, for those hurting right now who could use a little good cheer. A simple gesture of a plate of cookies, a warm shoulder to lean on, or an unexpected toy for a child feeling alone in this seemingly big, bad world could just be the greatest gift you give today.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!