Sunday, October 30, 2011

A GREAT Christmas This Year, No Matter What

One of the most memorable Christmases in my life was in the depths of the early 1980s recession, the year my grandmother had open heart surgery right after Thanksgiving.  Between unemployment, faltering businesses, and serious health issues, everyone in the family had Big Worries and no money.

All of our gifts that year were either homemade or inexpensive. And we were together. The children were young. Confidence and hope for a good future took hold. It was Christmas.

Mema had always made the holiday dinners, but she wasn't able to that year, so Mama got to make Christmas Dinner and have it at her house. It was not something she wanted to take on permanently, but was a fun new experience, and we had a sumptuous meal.

Mema usually took care of buying any purchased gifts they gave, and Nandy often built furniture or toys in his workshop for us. But this year, he was too busy caring for Mema to make anything, so he went shopping on Christmas Eve.

Under the tree for me was a simple motto plaque. He said he thought about me immediately when he saw it. It reads:

"The Way To Happiness:
Keep your heart free from hate...
Your mind from worry...
Live simply... expect little...
Give much..."

It still hangs in our home, and it has inspired me during good times and bad for 30 years.

What were some of your best Christmases? I'll bet they weren't times when your family had the most money, but when you had the most love.

Make up your mind to make this one of those best Christmases.

Give from your heart in every way you can, and even if you don't spend a dime, Christmas will be beautiful for your children, your spouse, your family, your friends, your neighbors... and for you.



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