Tonight, my 3 sons, one with his girlfriend, one with his wife and my granddaughter, and one solo, came over to celebrate Christmas with Sheri and me. I cooked homemade pizza (their request), and tried out a new dessert on them (they approved). It was a wonderful time to crowd around the dining room table, tell stories, laugh, recite lines from movies, and talk about what’s going on in each person’s life.
While I was rolling out pizza dough, my thoughts turned back to 10 years ago on this day. My divorce from my sons’ mom was finalized and life was filled with pain and a sense of loss. I wondered if the broken pieces of my kids, their mom, and my life would ever be healed, or would there always be a dark cloud around Christmas, or any holiday for that matter. As my sons and I spread the tomato sauce on the rolled out dough and piled the ingredients to complete each pizza, I knew the answer to my question a decade ago.
My thoughts turned outward from our family to our friends. Some are in wonderful places personally but stressed as they attempt to create the perfect Christmas day or family meal. Others are struggling with a variety of issues such as a family member’s failing health, joblessness, underemployment, money worries, or strained marriages. I thought about the gifts I would give each person, whether in a good or dark place, if it were only possible to do so.
- Courage for those who are afraid based on their current circumstances
- Faith for those who have none and are unsure what their next step is
- Hope for those who can’t see their way past their present pain
- Love for those who are alone and yearn to be held
- Laughter for those whose spirit needs to be lifted
- Persistence for those who are tired but need to take another step
- Vision for those who have a dream but don’t know how to get there
- Belief for those who’ve about given up
- Gratitude for those who are in a great place and life is good
- Peace for those who feel stressed
- Generosity for those who are able to share some of their blessings with other
These are the gifts I’d like to give each of you this Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate. None of these gifts can be wrapped in bright paper and placed under a tree, but these are the gifts I celebrated with Sheri and my sons this evening. I’m grateful and filled with joy as I replay the evening in my mind. We had a wonderful time exchanging gifts, but I’m even more grateful for the true gifts of healing, relationship, and love we celebrated this evening.