Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Reflections


Christmas Reflections

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

11 comments:

  1. It's nice when we're reminded of our priorities in life, isn't it? Thank you so much for sharing your story, Sandra, and have a wonderful rest of the holiday enjoying your own blessings!

    Linda

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  2. Thanks, Sandra. (Where's a freakin' tissue???) I don't envy you with your job. I always knew I could never help the sick or emotionally challenged without getting too involved. I guess I'm weak. Even now, I'm begging for used clothes from my friends for a friend who has 5 children... [I so need therapy. Yes, I know! They called me the Bodhistava in grad school because I left food on my desk for my fellow students who couldn't afford it!] Enough of that! Happy New Year, Sandra.

    Huge Prize: a cache of Time-Guardian treasure. To enter, join me by midnight New Years Day at:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skhyemoncrief/

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  3. That would be 1 friend with 5 kids... The 4 year old is trying to make her new toys dance on my keyboard. It's extremely distracting! :) Why can't they dance in their toy village, universe?

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  4. Thanks, Linda. Yes, it's important to appreciate just how blessed we are. Happy New Year!

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  5. Oh, hugs, Skhye! And I know I'm too tender-hearted, too. Mercy is my spiritual gift...which often makes me a big pile of mush when it comes to disadvantaged kids! I was once in their shoes, so I understand where all that angst comes from.

    You have a great New Year's and enjoy that 4yr old. LOL

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  6. I'm with Skhye. I'm too tenderhearted to help others on a daily basis. I'd come home an emotional wreck. Way to go, Sandra!

    Personally, this ranks as the best Christmas ever. We were given our gift a little early this year...back in September...with the birth of our little boy. We personally didn't get much this year, but whenever anyone asked what we wanted, we'd say we already got it. So, it was just family time with lots of food and fun and watching Iain stare at all of his presents. What could be better?

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  7. Be glad for what you have. And have a jolly heart.
    Happy Holidays and good luck in the New Year to everyone!
    Emma you got the best of presents.
    A four year old will do too.
    Enjoy them while they are yours!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your story. What very sweet 17year old.

    Take Care and Happy New Year!

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  9. Emma, you did receive a wonderful Christmas gift! What a great time to be with family!

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  10. Thank you, Mary. Happy Holidays to you, too!

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  11. I think he's sweet, too, Karen. The longer I know him, the more he makes me want to be a better person. Happy New Year!

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