The most significant part of your Christmas story

Published 8:27 am Monday, December 18, 2023

BY DR. GLENN MOLLETTE

We often reflect on past Christmases. We look back to the past because we have experienced the past. We haven’t experienced the future. We have hopes and dreams for the future, but we don’t know what the future will bring.

Each day we create new memories. What you will remember next Christmas is happening now. Therefore, do the best you can do this month and then you can reflect on another good memory next Christmas season.

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Christmas is a time of misery for many who have deceased loved ones. We miss parents, spouses, children and other family members. They were usually significant in our Christmas pasts and that’s why we remember them. They are no longer with us and thus it brings a cloud over our celebration

This is the time to reach out and embrace any loved ones and friends you may have left. Phone calls can be very helpful. Christmas cards are nice, but they are nothing like a personal phone call or visit. Instead of sending out 25 Christmas cards why don’t you make 25 five-minute phone calls. Simply say, “this is my Christmas card. I’m calling you.”

You may not have time to make 20 to 30 phone calls but how long does it take to find cards, address and stamp them? I’m not encouraging you to discontinue your Christmas cards but consider making some Christmas card phone calls.

Emails are nice if your friends ever see them. I receive so much junk email that I often miss important emails.

Eat where and when you can with others. You may have a large family gathering or it may just be you and two or three more. Make the most of how you spend your Christmas. Last year my son and I traveled for three hours to celebrate with family but the weather was so bad we had to turn around and go back home. We hadn’t prepared food because we were planning on connecting with our family at our gathering destination.

When we got back home, we were thankful that our local restaurant was open. The place was crammed with people just like us who needed a place to eat on Christmas day. We ate some omelets and pancakes, making the most of it and giving thanks that we had made it home safely and found a place to eat. I suspect we will remember the day forever. We were safe, had some food to eat and had a warm home to hang out and watch television for the rest of the day.

Often, it’s the simple things of life that we remember because it’s the simple things that get us through. Often, we overwhelm ourselves with aiming for grandeur. We have to remember what grandeur is really all about. The first Christmas grandeur was a baby lying in a cow’s trough. A peasant couple was thankful to just find a covering for their heads to bring their new baby into the world. Every year they are remembered and celebrated. Their Christmas was as simple as it gets but it was so significant and life-changing for all who love their story.

As you celebrate this special season keep in mind that some of the simplest things you do will likely be the most significant part of your Christmas story.

(Dr. Glenn Mollette’s column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states)