Another Holiday Season Is Upon Us
It’s that time of year again. Not long following Halloween I start wondering, what’s the perfect gift for everyone on my list this holiday season?
To be honest, I usually try to think of that one gift that everyone can use. Ideally, the gift should be appropriate for loved ones and also for the “annual” recipients like the mailman, the next door neighbor, the kids’ teachers, or even last minute forgotten ones.
The gift may be relatively (and ideally) inexpensive. It may be a special stocking stuffer. But at least, it’s something that is an expression of love that says, “I care about you!”
This is also the time of year that I become acutely aware of the emotionally fragile nature of many folks, particularly as the holidays draw near. Despite the usual associations with peace, joy, and jubilation, this time of year can be especially difficult for many.
Not Always Gum Drops and Sugar Plums
We’re more likely to be reminded of loved ones we’ve lost as we get older. All of us have happy memories that can be clouded by sad ones. Feeling bereft, there may be shadows of melancholy or despair reflected in, and upon, the shiny ornaments, lights, tinsel and glitter. Perhaps some anguish is swallowed with ribbon candy and ginger bread.
Perhaps either our physical or mental well-being is, or are, in jeopardy. Such feelings tend to preclude any sense of peace or joy. We may be in the midst of battling a serious disease or even a potentially fatal ailment that hinders an otherwise blissful spirit.
Reason For The Season
Jesus is the reason! But regardless, often less than ideal emotional states, unfortunately, are the reality for many. This reality, along with its associated feelings is only augmented during the holiday season. Cries of sorrow are easily muffled by merriment and cheer—the hustle and bustle in the streets, silver and gold, or joyous caroling, music and bells.
The Perfect Gift
“Okay,” you say, “What’s this perfect gift?” Assuming it’s possible, the ideal gift I’d bestow upon everyone, including myself, is an attitude—and not just any attitude. I hope we all receive an attitude of gratitude wrapped in positivity, adorned with a bow and ribbons of acceptance. Very few, if any, other gifts can yield better benefits or secondary gains.
Such a present can prompt us to dream more, pray more, and love more. This time of year it’s easy to feel defeated—a challenge to remain positive. An encouraging song by Martina McBride, “Anyway.” conveys these sentiments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uLtyzRgmyI Lyrics to the chorus proclaim, “God is Great. But sometimes life ain’t good. And when I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should. But I do it anyway.”
An attitude may seem to be such a simple thing. But its repercussions can have a magnitude unmatched by anything. And there’s nothing simple about that! I can’t change the past and I’ve no control over the future. The only place where God and I can have any effect is right here, right now,—in the present. So everything depends, in some way, on my attitude. Staying gratefully positive can heal the past while preparing the way for the future.
Good Advice From a Good Advisor
Recently I was struggling with some confounding situation. In a moment of frustration, my lovely wife (and frequent person of counsel) reminded me of a narrative piece she’d come across by another man of wisdom, Charles Swindoll—a Christian pastor. In fact it was something we’d passed on to our three sons some time ago. He wrote:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than success, than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes.”
A Gift That Keeps On Giving
Attitude truly is the gift that keeps on giving—the ideal gift. Everyone on your list is a possible recipient along with anyone not on your list. The trick is convincing them to accept it by showing them they’re worthy of such a special gift. And, as a bonus, attitude regenerates itself. Best of all, attitude can be “regifited” to anyone without embarrassment! Just be sure to hold on to yours. Such a bonus.
Are you, or is someone you know, willing to give, or receive, the perfect gift this holiday season?
Please share your thoughts.
Photo credits of Pixabay.