It’s not what’s under the tree that matters.

Christmas is such a special time of year; the lights, presents, giving, family time, and most of all the Birth of Christ. We gather with our families and friends to reminisce and celebrate this amazing time of year. However, we forget there are so many grieving or alone. Christmas time is usually a time of joy, love, and laughter but that thrill for some is taken away due to death, illnesses, or other obstacles life throws their way. I have experienced firsthand holiday grief.

Growing up, Christmas was such a special time to my family. My grandma Elaine loved nothing more than for all of her children and grandchildren to be under the same roof with the roar of laughter, the smell of her Christmas dinner, and the blessings God had given us throughout the year. We always read the Christmas story and prayed to God with thankful hearts for the mercy and love He had given our family. Never in a million years did I ever think or realize all of the bliss could one day change. One day there would no longer be Christmas family dinner at Grandma’s, laughter, reading of the Christmas story, or simply the hugs she would embrace us all in upon arrival at her door.

Life is so precious and short. One day everything is flowing on track and the next it is in complete shambles. We have to remember to never take one second for granted because we are not guaranteed the next. My Grandma lived for the moment. She taught me to live with a giving and grateful heart. I have lived my life (to the best of my ability) with a caring heart, always give with no expectation of something in return, and love with everything in me.

Christmas for me is a time to be thankful for the birth of Christ, family, and the ability to give to families in need. Many children wake up Christmas morning with no gifts from Santa, no parents, and for some… no meal. Over the last few years Nick and I have adopted families in need instead of giving gifts to each other. There is no better feeling than knowing a child somewhere, who originally wouldn’t have Christmas, will be able to open gifts and experience the joy and thrill of what’s inside.

Many of us quickly forget how blessed we are. We have a roof over our head, food on the table, presents under the tree, cars to drive, children to love, and the list goes on. However, we are also quick to forget that many are grieving the loss of a love one, not able to provide for a family, or wondering where the next meal will come from. This Christmas I hope more of us remember to cherish the moments we are given no matter what the circumstance. Our life compared to so many are better than most of us deserve.

THE WORD gave life to everything that was created, & HIS LIFE brought light TO EVERYONE.  

JOHN 1:4

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