Hello Friends. It's been awhile.
It's nearly Christmas. I'm not a winter person, but I am definitely a holiday person, so I'm in my glory. I love the carols, I love the warmth of a well-decorated Christmas tree, I love the smells and sights and sounds. I love baking cookies and decorating them with family. I love giving presents to those I love. I love Christmas movies and lights and everything.
More than all of this, though, I love giving. I love giving presents. I love giving joy. I love giving smiles and happiness. All year long, I live to make people happy, but Christmas just feels like my time. It makes me come alive in a way I can't explain. I find the most sacred joy in giving away happiness.
So many people have so much more than they need, and they don't - or can't bear - to give it away. Some people have so much less than they deserve, yet they find reasons and ways to give to others. I have always striven to be that person. I struggle, yet I know that everywhere, there are people who have less than me, and are happier than I am with less. I have been trying to purge from my life, to get down to the bare minimum, because I need so much less than what society tells me I do. In that purging, I've been trying to consciously give to those who have less than me. I'm not doing it to get points. I'm not trying to build myself up. I just want to know that I have exactly as much as I need, and that everyone else has exactly as much as they need, especially if I can help in that goal.
All that to say, this is a call out to all of you. I ask you to look at your life. What do you have that you love? What do you have that you like? What do you have that you like but could do without? What do you have that you really don't care for but hang on to for whatever reason? During this holiday season, I urge you to look around you. Look at the faces on the elevator at your work. Who is tired? Offer them a free coffee. Who is wiping away tears? Offer them a hug and some homemade cookies. Who is hungry? Offer to take them grocery shopping. Who is hurting? Stop and look in their face and listen to their pain. Give them the world, even for 5 minutes. Who is cold? If you can afford to, give them your coat. Where can you help? What can you do?
Writing this, I have a lump in my throat. There are people in my life that I know will suffer this holiday season, whether it be an empty table, an empty Christmas tree, an empty heart. Can I change those things? No, but maybe I can soften the blow of the pain. Maybe you can change those things. Maybe, together, we can help people to find shards of happiness in their lives.
I can't explain to you why the pull on my heart is so strong toward this effort. Maybe it's because I know what it's like to have less than, and I know the unbridled joy of receiving the gift of help. I've been helped in ways that seemed impossibly wonderful. I've fallen to my knees at the perfect timing of specific gifts I've received. It's an unexplainable joy, to receive exactly what you need at exactly the right time. For me, this has morphed into an unexplainable joy to give exactly the right gift, to the perfect person, at exactly the right time.
I hope that, during this Christmas (and forever after), you can find this joy, harness it, then give it away, again and again.
Be blessed, and Merry Christmas.
Brooke + JuneBug