The Christmas music has started, lights are appearing, and holiday cheer has begun in earnest everywhere you go. Once all the hustle and bustle of the preparations for the holiday winds down, one can actually focus on the best part of the holiday, making memories with loved ones near and far. Christmas can be a very happy time for families to celebrate together, but sometimes the obligations we have to family can become a bit of a struggle.
One of the things I appreciate about every holiday is the family get together, where family members spend some dedicated time catching up and enjoying serious and not so serious conversation, anecdotes, and even childhood memories. While it can be a drag to listen to Great Aunt Rita’s recollections of life long ago back on the farm (the same exact recollections shared every single holiday), or to “read between the lines” of comments from mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters (in-law or not) who are well meaning, but perhaps should leave their judgmental opinions to themselves. And what’s better than the one-up game with moms and dads when it comes to stories about their kids?
Well, before we get carried away with the play-by-play analysis of the things that can go wrong during the holidays, let’s step back and appreciate the wonderful lives we enjoy because of family. Recently I read a Facebook page post from a distant relative about my family’s bi-annual reunion attended from family from around the United States, with hundreds of people in attendance. “The true focus of life is not in collecting power, wealth, or fame; it is in building and maintaining relationships. Knowing this, my mother worked to establish and support a family reunion. The Miller Family reunion is the result. We get together for simple competition, to do crafts, and most of all to listen to one another. We find out what to pray about, and what to celebrate in the lives of family members. We find out about our roots, and in doing so we gain perspective on who we are and find a sense of gratitude for the sacrifices of those who have come before.”
I really can’t say it any better than that. One cannot underestimate the value of a family that supports each other with unconditional love and support, and people who care enough to give you a hug, congratulate your successes, and empathize with your failures. So this year, although the crazy may come calling, take some time to appreciate the fact that there is crazy at all, have a good laugh, and thank God for all of the stories you will have to tell at future get togethers!
Recently I had the chance to catch the latest Disney movie Frozen in the theater. One significant storyline was that we are all mis-fits, just needing a “fixer-upper” to come into our lives to complement what’s missing. Later in the movie, it takes an ultimate act of love, the sacrifice of one character for another, in order to save the frozen kingdom. This tremendous sacrifice is actually what we celebrate at Christmas, the ultimate gift of love and grace granted from God above when He sent His one and only Son to Earth to die for our sins to give all of us mis-fits (i.e. sinners) an eternal hope in heaven.
Take some time this holiday season to celebrate the grace that God has given us, in not only the gift of His Son, but also in the gift of family and friends to make the journey of life that much easier to travel. Merry Christmas to you and your love ones, and we wish you the healthiest and happiest new year!
MotionWorks Physical Therapy