Happy Holidays from Home Instead

by Lois Etienne on December 20, 2010

in Holiday

Just last week, I was talking Christmas with a group of business related friends.  One person in the group was a self appointed Scrooge.  Between the decorations, the busyness, the get togethers, she wanted to just say bah-humbug and let the season pass.  During the conversation, she did come around a bit to say she liked many of the festive attributes of Christmas; it was just not her favorite holiday.  Now I can understand the stress of Christmas, but who really comes out to say that Christmas is not their favorite holiday?  There are presents, fabulous foods, beautiful décor, heartwarming stories, and so on and so forth.  It’s the most wonderful time…of the year….  Isn’t it?

When the group had dispersed, I asked my friend why she was not a big fan of Christmas.  She tried to brush off the question as best she could.  But after a bit of pressing, she shared a Polaroid of her past to reveal that a close relative of hers had passed away on Christmas.   And while many of her snap shots of Christmas were similar to the rest of us, there were several that were…well, sad.

Christmas is a mile post on life’s cyclical time line.  Every year we pass and as we do, we are reminded in amplified form where we are at in life as well as where we have been.  It does not matter who you are, what your family is like, how much money you have, memories around the holidays are tattooed into our hearts.  As a kid, I was blessed with family and Christmas.   About the only thing I didn’t look forward to was that package of underwear disguised as a present hiding under the tree.  The biggest challenge I would face would be having to make multiple trips to the car in the snow to haul gifts.   And being uncomfortable meant that I had eaten too much food, and then still had one more plate.

I know that there are many who have had genuine difficult times in life, and Christmas serves as a reminder of those times.  I don’t share this to bring you down or sour your eggnog.  It wasn’t until my grandfather passed away that I experienced my first real down time at Christmas.  He did so many things that just made the holiday (those are for another story) that the first Christmas without him was just difficult.  And while for most of us, Christmas will be a happy time,  for others, it may serve as a reminder of what they no longer have.

So in all of your busyness this year, don’t lose sight of what is important.  My grandpa had a way to make a person feel important.  And the day it was the most evident was Christmas Eve.  The clam dip he made, the presents he gave us, all screamed you are important to me.  And that is what Christmas really is.  It’s the one universal day that we tell each other how important they are to us.  Sometimes we lose sight of that.  It’s not the shopping that’s important, but rather who we are shopping for.  It’s not the decorating, the dinners, the traditions, but rather the people we do those things for.  No matter the relation, stranger or friend, when you show someone they are important to you, you are showing the Holiday Spirit.

I want to wish you the very best this Christmas.  And take nothing for granted.  If you gain pounds, it is because you are blessed with plenty of good food to eat.  If you get worn out running around from house to house for holiday parties, it is because you have family and friends to see.  If you have to clean up a huge mess of wrapping paper and boxes, it is because you were able to afford many gifts.  And if it is a white Christmas and have to shovel snow, be thankful that you have arms and legs strong enough to do so.  If any of these things happen to you this holiday, be thankful, because it means that you are blessed.

Thanks again for reading.  Have a Merry Christmas.  And if you know of any seniors that need us, we are here.  Even through the holiday.


Jim Prophet

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