Is it just me or is anyone else really over the pressure that has been put on us to buy more, spend more, decorate more each year for the holidays? This year I did put up one large tree and four smaller ones and decorate the house, but shopping for presents has been sketchy. Baking? Not yet. I do plan to cook a nice holiday meal for our family to enjoy and finally managed to get a few presents under the tree. But this year for us has been all about spending time with my family.
Life should be more about having experiences and building memories than about whether or not someone got the latest new gadget for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Easter or birthdays. So go hug your family, enjoy a nice meal together, tell stories, play a game, or watch a movie and just enjoy being together.
“Each day of our lives we make deposits into the memory banks of our children.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll
Here are some stories I found that I hope will inspire you this month.
- Here’s a funny take on how another mom took the stress out of the December and reclaimed her holidays.
- How about this story of the dying man who bought 14 year’s worth of presents for his neighbors’ 2 year daughter to open – one per year.
- Further proof that it’s not always a wrapped present that warms the hearts of others. This man and his sons chopped wood to distribute to those in need: “No one goes cold in our hood this holiday season.”
- Knowing that getting people together is what the season is really all about, this man donated 200,000 miles to people in need.
- George H. W. Bush secretly wrote letters to a Filipino boy as part of a pen pal program. Not only does it show the kind of character he had, but it shows how a small gesture can spread hope.
- And here’s another story of how an anonymous Christmas card affected the life of a Vietnam Veteran.
- Yes, true love does exist. This 93-year-old man rides three buses almost every day to visit his wife’s grave.
- Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. A Secret Santa. Listen the story of Moses, a homeless man who experienced the joy of giving to others. And remember it’s often better to give than to receive.
- Here are 7 True Christmas Miracles to Restore Your Hope – stories by Reader’s Digest readers and their heartwarming memories from years past.
- Finally, a more personal note. I bought this book entitled Letters to My Dad. Write now. Read later. Treasure Forever. in September of this year on a visit to my parents. You see, my father is dying of cancer. I started writing those letters and kept telling myself I needed to finish. We didn’t know how long he had. In November, my mother had a stroke and I rushed to her side. I brought the book with me and I changed the title to include “& Mom.” I wrote 12 letters to my mom, my dad, and to both of them. Having just returned from nearly two weeks visiting them and my brothers and their families, I took my parents that book. I read each letter to them. We cried. We laughed. It’s something they can read again and someday it will return to me so I can read again. All this to say, remember to take the time to tell those you love how you feel and spend quality time together this holiday.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s articles meant to inspire. Please take a minute to be thankful for all you have, hug the ones you love, and smile at what your day beholds.
My father has stopped the chemo designed to prolong his life because it was robbing him of a quality of life for the days he has left. So spending quality time with family is very poignant for me this year. None of us are ever promised a tomorrow, so make the best of today while you have it. ❤