I love the holidays - I've been so fortunate to be raised in a family where tradition and love gives me the feeling of joy near Christmas that I have felt since I was a little girl.
The holidays this year has also brought me a little feeling of helplessness. I feel a weight of sadness for so many I know who are missing people this year and I feel like the season can intensify that grief for them.
A friend of mine since high school was deployed in Afghanistan for less than 10 days and was shot in the head last week. His wife flew to Germany to be with him leaving their baby with family - and I truly believe he has the strength to survive this. But to know his family is struggling and separated through the holiday...
The family of my sister's student who was hit and killed by a car earlier this year is celebrating their first Christmas with out their fourteen year old Tom. He was the light of their life and he wont be there...
I have several people in my life who have lost their mom, dad, or family member in the past years and that seat will be empty at the breakfast table Christmas morning...
I can't help but wish everyone could have the people they love most with them during this time of year.
I feel so abundantly blessed and appreciate the people, family, and friends I have in my life. I guess as I have gotten older, I have come to cherish and not take for granted the people I am able to make memories with every year.
I don't mean to be a downer about the holidays - it's a beautiful time of year. It's one of my favorite times of the year and I always look forward to it. I have loved getting the Christmas cards in the mail this year with pictures. It's been my favorite thing to look forward to daily. I also love looking our tree filled with ornaments connecting me to memories of growing up.
I just don't want to forget to think about anyone who may be lonely during a time of year when lonliness seems to hit you the hardest.
This is the season of hope. If you're lucky like me and get to spend the holidays with the people you love most... squeeze them a little tighter this year - and enjoy. And if you're missing someone close to you, know that I am thinking of you and sending you a little extra cheer :)