I wish that you love this season as much as I do. I have many fond childhood memories of Christmas, not so much of the gifts I received (although that red Schwin bicycle on my 12th Christmas was a sweet surprise), but simply the feeling of good will that pervaded my family, my neighborhood and my life. I loved it then and I love it now, so allow me to share some Christmas wishes with you.
I wish that you learn from whatever mistakes you made this year.
Hopefully, you set a Christmas budget and stuck with it. However, if you dug a financial hole by super-sizing your gifts, I wish that you will ask yourself why. Were you trying to make yourself feel good? Were you trying to reciprocate what others normally give you? Were you trying to win someone’s love? Whatever your rationale, that short term glow of buying stuff you couldn’t afford will be replaced by long term remorse this January when those credit charges start flowing in. It may too late to change those mistakes this year, but it is not too late to learn from them.
I wish you the wonders of childhood.
Yes, this sounds sappy, but Christmas is a season of wonders. My wish is that you will squeal with delight over the many lighting displays and that a sparkling icicle or the bite of a frosty morning breath will stir some deep childhood memories. Go ahead: catch a snowflake on your tongue or make a snow angel. I wish you the delight of absorbing the thrills and innocence your own children and grandchildren are experiencing this season.
I wish you the joy of helping others.
I wish that you will be blessed by helping someone who has real needs. Don’t get me wrong … I am not advocating that you become a “do-gooder” in order to feel good about yourself; my wish is that you think of others less fortunate than yourself and follow your heart to reach out to them. Some friends of mine in New York recently put this concept into practice … although their Astoria neighborhood was largely spared the consequences of Hurricane Sandy, neighboring communities were devastated. So Ben and Emily gave a car to a single Mom, and they didn’t need to create debt to do so. These two have been, for some time, socking away a portion of their income for “generosity giving”. You may not be in a position to give a car away, but my wish is that you will allow yourself to be stretched outside your comfort zone. Once you do so, you will discover an inner glow which this season is all about.
I wish you the true Christmas experience.
In December of 1971, as a soldier in Viet Nam, I wrote these words to my 8 year old sister: “Enjoy all of your presents, but remember the real meaning of Christmas is Jesus because he gave more to earth than any man in history. OK?” Why do I know the exact quote? Because my mom sent that letter to the Mt Vernon (Illinois) Register News, then saved the clipping for me when it was published.
It was my first published writing, but I digress…I wish you the same thing I wished my sister all those years ago.