Saturday, December 26, 2009
When thinking about posting today, the day after Christmas, I considered titling this post “Christmas Aftermath.” Dec 26 has always meant the following to me: leftovers, visiting stores to return gifts, waiting in long lines, disposing of mountains of wrapping paper, and watching my kids play endless hours of video games. It’s not a totally unpleasant day as memory serves, but I always sink a little into melancholy. After all, I have no more presents to give or receive, and I know I’ll return to my day job soon. But yesterday I discovered a new appreciation for the holidays that’s given me hope that the true Christmas spirit exists.
In my career, I work with many at-risk teenagers. Shortly before Thanksgiving, one 17 year-old boy I know experienced a big scare. Living in a single-parent home, his whole world nearly collapsed when his father was badly injured in a car wreck. After a long stay in the hospital, his dad got to come home in time for Christmas. However, the family had been living on the parent’s disability checks and had a hard enough time making ends meet before the accident, so the boy anticipated a bleak Christmas. But not for himself. His main concern was for his younger brother and sister. Fortunately the family received an inheritance they’d been waiting on, and were able to buy a good Christmas. Yesterday I talked to the boy about what he was doing. I expected him to tell me what he’d gotten for Christmas. I expected a list of clothes or games. The usual. Instead he simply said he was enjoying watching his brother and sister have the best Christmas ever. Eventually I learned he’d gotten some good gifts, too, but I was so humbled by his first response: the most important thing he’d received this year was the happiness of his siblings.
God blessed his family with the recovery of their father and a good Christmas…and I felt blessed to know such a wonderful young man. So this Christmas, I’m reflecting on the Season’s blessings and making the Christmas spirit last all year long.
Sandra’s new release, Midnight Cravings, is coming January 6 from the Wild Rose Press. Audrey has a job most people only dream about, visiting exotic destinations. But her new assignment, writing a review of a remote villa in Greece, exposes more than she'd bargained for-the handsome locals are really murderous werewolves, and worse, her steamy Greek lover is a lycanthrope with Midnight Cravings. www.thewildrosepress.com