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my Christmas Message


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Several years ago I wrote this and posted it here. Some of you may remember and many have joined sense then. still believe these things as much as I did then. I hope you enjoy it. Lillian

Christmas, thoughts and gifts

I have some thoughts about Christmas that I want to share. It seems lately that every time we turn around we hear about another controversary about God's name being somewhere. Now many are even trying to take Christ out of Christmas. If it were not for Christ there would be no Christmas. Most people don't want God or Christ removed from the public but all we do is talk about it or stage some small protest that never really makes a difference. I am telling you that there is a way to make a difference. A way that each and everyone of us can not only bring Christ back into Christmas but God into our everyday lives.

Even the most devout person can find themselves it situations this time of year that tests our patience and quite frankly make us act in a most un Christian way. Maybe it is time we stop and think before we react. Maybe it is time that we remember the reason for Christmas and act accordingly.

When you are in traffic and someone cuts you off instead of getting angry take a minute to speculate about that person instead of jumping to judge him. His or her mind may be with a loved one who is in the hospital and he is trying to get things done as quickly as possible because time is so precious. Not because of more shopping or a party that he may be late for but because he knows that if his loved one even makes it to Christmas it will be the last.

The elderly lady who is in front of you at the store and takes too much time to do what she needs to do and acts like she has all of the time in the world may be trying to feel herself a part of the holidays in the only way she can. She has plenty of time on her hands because she is alone and has no one to share the holidays with. Instead of getting angry wish her a Merry Christmas.

The old man that is at the grocery store in front of you and seems to be lost may be shopping alone for the first time in his life because his wife has died recently and he has never had to do anything alone before. For him the holidays won't bring joy only sadness and remind him that he is alone.

It is so easy to forget why we celebrate Christmas. We can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season that we forget about people. We forget how to care. For most this is a busy and happy time of year but for many it is the most painful time.

Everyone wants to be happy this time of year. We put so much into it that we feel obligated to be happy to make the season pay for the time and money that we have invested. Because of that we tend to ignore or forget some people at a time when they need us most.

My personal experience as well as my work with ill and elderly people have made me very aware of some things. You don't have to understand a person's pain to know that they suffer. You don't have to know the right words to say to give comfort. Sometimes just a hug or a touch on the arm can say what words can't. Looking someone in the eye when you say "Merry Christmas" only takes a second more that it does to mumble the greeting as you rush on your way, yet to someone who is alone or having a hard day it can mean the world.

Sometimes the most important thing you can do for someone is listen. Some things are very painful to live with and having to live with those things without being able to talk about them makes it even harder. Everyone wants to feel of value. We all need someone to care and to show that they care. Being sick or old and frail does not change that. Just remember that there are no guarantees. We are not promised next year or next month or for that matter even tomorrow. In the blink of an eye your world can be snatched away from you and you may be the one in need of someone to care.

The two greatest gifts that we are given and have to give are love and time. I challenge everyone to remember to give freely of those things now while you can. Don't wait for tomorrow because it may never come. It amazes me that a person will work for hours to earn the money to buy a special gift for someone but won't spend a fraction of that time just being with that person. Time is the one gift that we can give that none other can compare to.

Look around you at your family or neighbors or members of your church. Everyone knows someone who is either alone or in some kind of pain be it emotional or physical. Reach out to that person. If you can give them a hug or a pat on the arm. If you can't do that call them and say hello or Merry Christmas or drop them a card saying that you are thinking about them. One minute of time that is all it will take to give the most precious of gifts. You will find when you do that there is a gift for you too. You will once again learn the real reason for Christmas and the the joy of giving from the heart. If we can all do that then there will never be a time that Christ is gone from Christmas or God is gone from our world.

From the bottom of my heart I wish everyone a peaceful and meaningful Christmas. Lillian

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