Saturday, December 7, 2013

Put the holiday preparations on pause for just a moment...

[store display, ABC Carpet and Home, NYC]

This is the hectic time of year, when many of us are rushing around buying, wrapping, and shipping gifts. Such is the case for me. Today I head out to a craft fair on the East End of Portland (Maine) to look for inexpensive gifties and support my friend Jenifer who has a booth there. I still have several people on my list to buy for, and then I need to get those gifts into the mail so they can reach their destinations before December 25th. But in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, let's take just a moment to reflect on what the holiday is about and what we each have to be grateful for.

It really doesn't matter if you are religious or not: Christmas is what you make of it. You can do it up big, or you can spend quiet time walking in the woods and appreciating the gifts of Mother Nature rather than those purchased at Macy's. I do think it's a perfect time for sharing, however. The best buy I made this season was finding a big, fluffy stuffed bear for $5 at Family Dollar that I could drop off to Toys for Tots. Tuesday when I go to the Y, I'll take along a canned good to put in the donation box for the food pantry. Total money spent? Probably less than $7. And yet the feeling of sharing with others? As they say on those AmEx commercials, Priceless!

So many, many people helped me during this last difficult year... I'll be writing a lot of thank notes inside my Christmas cards this season. And now more than ever, I want to do what I can for others. And maybe I can't do much -- living on a fixed income doesn't allow for lavish spending, that's for sure -- but maybe it's not about spending money. Maybe it's just about doing small things with great joy and appreciation.

So thank you for taking the time out of your hectic holidays today to read my blog. I hope you may be inspired to make some small gesture to help another this weekend. Maybe you'll decide to shovel your neighbor's walk or pick up some chocolates for your kid's teacher, donate money or canned food to your local food pantry or donate time to a charity in your area. Whatever it is, you will feel better for it (I promise), and your holidays will be even richer for your having shared something from the heart.

Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas!