Holidays are special times. I remember many years ago, at a family Christmas dinner, how I cried because I had to sit at the â€œlittle kid\’sâ€ tableâ€”a small card table covered in a nice cloth, but absent the fancy trimmings of the main table. I ate my entire meal while my beverage sat on the counter, waiting for me to clean my plate; which never happened, because I carefully and quietly wrapped the vegetables I didn\’t like in a napkin and passed them under the table until they reached the trash!
Holidays can provide memoriesâ€”some comical, others critical. As we approach most Holiday Seasons, there is an expectation of holiday cheer. We expect that people will enjoy the company of family and friends. We anticipate the magnificent menus of â€œkitchen magiciansâ€ and we prepare to visit merchants for some of the biggest shopping excursions of the year. But one thing we don\’t look forward to is loneliness and anxiety.
While many are deciding between turkey and ham, or which watch to buy a spouse, some are dreading the thought of eating in solitude or being alone. Psalm 136 commands, â€œOh give thanks unto the Lord for he is good, His mercy endures forever.â€ This Psalm echoes the un- earned, undeserved mercy of God. It prompts us to be mindful of the true meaning of the seasonâ€”a time of reflection and thanksgiving. We are to be thankful not only for the things that we touch and see, but also for the intangible things: the love of God, the manner in which He entrusts us with His gifts, and the ability to think clearly.
If you\’re single, take time this holiday sea- son to minister to those you encounter who do not know God, and encourage those that do. As well, take time to do as David admonished, and â€œencourage yourself.â€
Perhaps this year was one of significant change in your life. Perhaps you experienced divorce, the death of a loved one, a geographical move, or a professional or economic shift. Put things in proper perspective. You still have much to be thankful for, so stay positive! Whatever you do, do not lose your joy! Set time aside to tell someone how thankful you are to God for him or her.
* If you know of someone that will be spending the holidays alone, be unselfish; invite them over and try a new recipe.
* Visit a Senior Citizen\’s home and sing some carols. They won\’t mind if you\’re off key, they\’ll just enjoy the company.
* Go to the local food bank and serve those who are much less fortunate than you.
Take time to help someone establish new holiday memories, and while you\’re at it, make some new memories of your own!