Sunday, December 4, 2016

May Christmas Bring You Happiness

While looking through Christmas decorations and hunting for other mementos recently, I found a greeting card that my maternal grandmother sent to my parents and me some 50 years ago. On the back of the card, in her lovely handwriting with all of the flourishes that cursive writers employed in that era, Grandma Carrie penned the following message to us: "May Christmas bring you happiness, and fill your hearts with song. With all the Blessings large and small. Throughout your holiday and always. With our love." I have looked at that card many times over the years, but it was on that day at that moment that Grandma's message held special and significant meaning for me. For the past few years, I have been marking my days by the blessings I count. I begin and end each day naming three things for which I am grateful, sometimes specific to that day and at other times things for which I can always be grateful. That practice has reshaped how I see my life and the world around me and how I see even the most difficult moments and circumstances possessing their own beauty and blessing. For the past few months, I have been collecting heart-shaped objects, particularly stones, which I have found in my path on my daily walks. They seem to just be waiting for me. Both of these practices of counting my blessings and following my heart along the journey are helping me to see the "Blessings large and small" in my life and they are filling my heart with song. It's easy to get caught up in the consumerism or busyness of the holiday or wrapped up in memories of Christmases past, but the real blessings, the real happiness, the real songs in our heart come from the small, yet significant experiences and kindnesses we encounter all year long. So, my wish for you, dear reader, is the same as my beloved grandmother wrote so many years ago: May Christmas bring you happiness and fill your hearts with song. With all the Blessings large and small. Throughout your holiday and always. Peace. 

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