I’m interrupting my day of baking to stop and write a blog post because sometimes people need a gentle reminder.
Close your eyes and go back to Christmas morning. You were five. It’s Christmas morning and you’re still in your jammies and you run to mommy and daddies room and jump on the bed with them. You are so excited. You snuck downstairs to the living room and Santa had come and there are present to be opened with your name on them.
What a lucky child you are to have such a good mommy and daddy. Not everyone has that, but at five, you’re not aware of the world and its realities.
Open your eyes, you are now thirty and you have children of your own. Your life has not always been a piece of cake. There are bills to pay, divorces happen. God forbid, your husband or wife has cheated on you. Or financial problems have happened and you had to move back in with your parents till you got on your feet. Or there is the time that you just needed to talk, so you called that person, mom, dad, best friend and needed to talk.
Or the time the car broke down, or some unexpected thing like a job loss or relocation happened. You hated to do it, but you needed a quick loan. How lucky you were again to have that person you could go to.
You see Christmas is not just about the day, it’s about all those things and the time to remember.
I grew up in a very large family with both sides being European. You know, back before birth control.
I remember Christmas as going to both of my grandmothers in one day. There were Aunts and Uncles, Cousins, and the neighbors came too. Sometimes in one day, over a hundred people would come to say Merry Christmas. They came for the day or just to stop by.
Then I grew up and only got back home for some of the Christmas’s. I found myself in a different country with a very small family. So, I opened my door like my grandmothers did.
The children remember Christmas as mom and all her friends from everywhere. The children got spoiled as most of those people were single and had family somewhere else. Other just wanted to come after their family event as it was just fun to be at our house.
It was festive, warm and welcoming. Filled with laughter and friendship.
Eventually, all those friends got married and the group got smaller in size. Those friends became the Aunts and Uncles, that the children never had, as my mother didn’t follow the tradition of having a large family. Today, many of them are grandparents, but they are still part of our world.
My mother has passed and so have my grandparents. I am married to a man who also has a small family. But we are blessed with having each other.
Many years have now passed and life brings with it, losses. Many people we know are back to having no family or very small families and so it’s time to start that tradition again. This year we have opened our door to friends who are alone or have small families. This year, it wasn’t my idea, it was our families idea.
I suspect that our Christmas will grow bigger each year again. With the door open and more people to join us. This year we will have a sit-down dinner. But if our house gets filled with more people we are happy to go back to buffet style like we did when the children were small. There will always be room for one more at our home.
I have seen the good and kindness in the hearts of my family already this year. My children and husband said let’s invite some people to join us.
My husband does not know that he made me cry this year. You see this past week he was in a coffee shop and a homeless man was eating candy for breakfast. He bought the man breakfast and asked the manager to give it to him as to not embarrass him. That made me proud of him.
I was shopping with a friend of mine this past week, and that friend saw those hot pocket to warm your hands. She picked up a bag of them to give to another homeless man who she sees out on the street every day. She also made me cry. She is not a wealthy person but is still willing to share what she has. I am proud to call her my friend.
We no longer send Christmas Cards, instead, the money goes to the Homeless Shelter. Every week we put something in the food bank at the grocery store.
The shelters are always looking for donations and as you can tell by my blog, the homeless are a soft spot in my heart as everyone deserves to have a home.
We know that we are lucky. We have a home and we have each other. We never forget that simple act of kindness can change someone else’s day or make the hard days just a little easier.
So, I have to ask, did you forget someone this year? Is there a family member or a friend or a co-worker who may spend what should be the most wonderful day of the year, alone?
Where is mom going this year? You are so lucky if she is only a phone call away.
I realize that not all homes are filled with family and some people have no one. Others are ill or suffering a recent loss.
We never know when our lives will change. When someone will be taken for us suddenly from a tragedy or unkind illness.
But as long as we have today, we still have a chance to change someone’s day.
I hope you didn’t forget someone this year.
I hope you remember a simple act of kindness can change someone’s day.