The emotions you feel this Christmas will illuminate the joys and/or pains you’ve experienced during this past year. Your highs will soar higher, and your lows will reach lower. That’s why Christmas is the best time of year for some, and the worst time of year for others.
This year is going to be a wonderful Christmas for our family. I have a 5, 3, and 1 year old. I love watching their eyes share in their experiences of Christmas.
We have a family tradition of watching a movie together on Friday nights. Over the last three Fridays, we’ve watched Christmas movies. Every few minutes, I glance away from the TV screen (that’s saying a lot for a guy who has ADD and never glances away from any TV screen – just ask my wife), and I sit mesmerized as I watch the glee in the my three year old son’s eyes. When we watch a movie, he is there – either sitting on Santa’s lap, or standing in awe in front of a big Christmas tree. Whatever it is, his eyes tell me he’s experiencing it just like he were there.
I love watching my kids during these special moments. With young children in the house, Christmas brings so much joy.
But, not everyone experiences joy at Christmas.
This might be your first Christmas without a spouse, a parent, or a child. For others, it may be he first Christmas after a divorce or job loss. This may be the first Christmas you don’t get to be at home with your family.
Right now, I feel compelled to write and tell people who will be grieving this holiday that you are loved. I know you don’t have all the answers, and unfortunately, I can’t say anything that will help your situation make any more sense. I can simply say that you are loved.
If you’re reading this blog post right now, would you be willing to do me a favor?
- When you’re out buying your Christmas presents this year, could you you stop and ask yourself who might not be getting a present? Then buy one for him or her.
- When you’re sending your Christmas cards, would you be willing to think of one person who really needs the encouragement? Then stop and add a personal note.
- When you’re putting together your invitation list for a Christmas party, could you think of one person who is likely not going to get invited to a party? Then invite that person.
In our family, we’re trying to teach our children to do unto others as we would have things done unto us. The first step in doing something for others is challenging ourselves to step beyond our own selfish wants and needs. To think, at least for a moment, about what someone else wants or needs. I’m having trouble doing that for myself, so you can imagine how hard it is to teach kids to think about others.
Here are a few things we do during the holidays:
- Make sure Christmas involves at least one act of service. Each Christmas we join the church and go caroling at the hospital and hand out Christmas gifts to the patients.
- For every new toy our kids get, they pick one to give away.
But now I need your help and your suggestions.
What are things you do to reach out to those who might get forgotten during this holiday season? How do you teach your kids to think of others during the holiday season?