I find the holidays to be a reflective time for me, a bench mark helping me measure what I have accomplished during the year while I consider my dreams and aspirations for the coming months. It seems that the older I get, the more grateful I am for the smaller gestures, grandiose acts seem to have less of an impact on me. It’s the small favor, the friendly voice on the other end of the phone, the e-mail just checking on me, the warmth of someone’s hand on my shoulder and the knowledge that I have a support system around me that allows me to be the best that I can be. These are the things that stay with me when I think of the experiences I want to have in the coming year and the type of people that I want to have in my life, both personally and professionally.
This past year has been a particularly hard one for many complete with earthquakes, floods and fires. Lives have been changed permanently and for those of us fortunate enough to have escaped these perils, gratefulness and a reassessment of what is really important is at the forefront of our minds. I find folks conscious of other’s circumstances are pairing down this holiday season so as not to seem ungrateful for their own blessings. In the spirit of caring, I see more people giving and participating in philanthropic efforts than ever before, their hands outstretched reminding others that they have their backs. Throughout our country, it seems that many have thrown down the gauntlet to finally effect change and bring us all onto the same level playing field.
I was reminded of this desire for simplicity and the things that are truly important when I started decorating the nine-foot Christmas tree this year. Because of the overload of digital chaos around us, I was determined to have a big potluck dinner at my home and make sure that everything was twinkly, shiny and sparkly for my friends. My daughters are married now with their own families and their own trees, so it seemed I could put away the Q-tip reindeers and plastic ornaments filled with candy and create a magical “big girl” tree. But then the Popsicle angel stared at me with her little crisscrossed eyes and tilted halo and faded wings. Allie had made her in the first or second grade for the top of the tree out of paper mache and for years, we all stood at the bottom of the tree clapping when she ascended her post at the top. To her side on the table was a grownup, glitzy, shiny gold angel and in my determination to create a festive environment, I stood precariously on the ladder placing her in her new role as guardian of the tree. She didn’t fit…sigh…the worn handmade matriarch would have to resume her role. But, she felt slighted now and was not going to make it easy. As I went up and down the ladder at least six times to make sure she was straight, other angels began to fall off the tree and I found myself actively using the hot glue gun repairing wings until I begged mea culpa.
So, what have I been reminded from the Popsicle angel? It’s not always about glitzy and fancy, it’s about substance which can come in the simplest of packages and sometimes we have to flap our wings and take a stand reminding others of the things that matter the most. Please know that I’m deeply thankful for your support and the blessings I receive every day from you!
Happy holidays my friends,
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