A Deeper Meaning to the Holiday Season

What comes to mind when you think of December? Snowstorms and hot chocolate, frantic shopping, or decorating the tree? As November marks the traditional time of expressing gratitude, December is often thought of as a time to give to others and also to count ones blessings. It’s hard to count them when you are caught in a frenzy of holiday madness. Yet somewhere beneath all of the hustle and bustle that seems to be a part of the month of December lies stillness, and in that stillness we can find the quietude and serenity to remember how blessed we truly are.

There are many people within my circle of friends who are going through a particularly difficult time right now. There is the friend who constantly worries about his son who is living on the streets of a faraway city. There is the friend whose disease is crippling her physically to the point where she cannot walk and can barely function. There is the friend whose cancer suddenly became so toxic that she had to quit her job after twenty years of dedicated service there. Then there is the friend who, recently separated from her husband, is suffering from an aching heart. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything better for these dear people (and the other dear friends in my life who are undergoing hardships) but it is not within my power to eradicate their pain. However, there is something I can do.

Inside every thorny rose bush lies the bud of a beautiful fragrant flower. Inside the heart of every human being who suffers is the ability to receive and express love and gratitude and it is here that the blessing lies. Although none of us have the ability to change another person’s fate entirely, we can soften the thorn through our love and compassion. Those who are suffering can ease ones pain a little bit through opening ones heart to receiving love and expressing gratitude for it.

Many people spend way too much time and money this time of year looking for the perfect present, the perfect gift. Next time you feel that way, please look within. Maybe all you need to give is yourself, your beautiful, unaltered, unique self. Maybe all we ever need to give lies within us. What if each of us were able to give freely of ourselves to one another? What a blessing that would be.

May your holiday season be blessed with love and joy beyond measure.