For many of us, the next few days will be spent with family. Stories will be told, laughter will ring out, hugs will be shared, wrapped presents will be exchanged and too much food will be consumed. These are the gifts that can’t be wrapped and put under a tree. This fellowship of family and friends is the true gift of the season.
As we celebrate the season, as we celebrate this precious time with those we love and care for, let’s take a moment to remember the many in our world that are not as fortunate.
Families in Newton, Connecticut and thousands of others we have not heard of will be missing a special voice, a special face in their homes this year, knowing that voice, that face will never be coming back. Regardless of how they were lost; how much time they had together, the pain of losing a loved one is particularly acute at this time of year.
Others will also be missing a special voice and a special face because their loved one is an unsung hero who sacrifices much so that our world can be better. As we sit around the table with family and friends, these heroes will go to work in hospitals, fire halls and police departments. Other loved ones are in countries far from home doing their best to make our world just a little safer from hatred and terror.
And others are alone and lost in this world of plenty we live in. Mental illness, addiction and abuse have put many people on the street, living a life of poverty and pain I cannot imagine. Some will huddle down a little deeper into their corner on the sidewalk; others will get in line for a hot meal in a warm place surrounded by the only family they know.
Wherever you travel this holiday season, whether it be down the block, across the city, the province or the country, give your loved ones a special gift … a hug and an “I love you and appreciate you.”
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Season Greetings and Happy Holidays to all.