It is at this time of year after Thanksgiving and before Christmas that we turn more to family and friends. We renew and form new traditions and rituals during this time. Students are home from college with new-found friends and visit old friends from high school and the neighborhood. We might renew acquaintances, take in a movie, go shopping, to lunch or coffee. People make more time for one another. The excitement of gift giving or enjoying Mother Nature’s offerings such as ice skating or snow shoeing are here for us to savor and enjoy. Scents of baking and cooking waft through the house. There is magic in the air when big snowflakes fly about and a drive through the Lights on the Lake at Onondaga Lake Park is a popular activity for young and old.
During the daily hustle and bustle of life, we often forget the importance of taking time to nourish our friendships. It is no different for me. I plan to visit with a friend who is back in the area to visit with her family. We will hug, smile and talk with one another. It will be a little differently than in the past since she now suffers from dementia. We may even sing a song or two for the season or a church hymn. She will know that I think and pray for her often in her new life’s chapter.
Although I have disdain for ice and snow, I do cherish a White Christmas and secretly hope we will have one this winter in Central New York. I secretly enjoy living in a place with four distinct seasons. Others are quite content with constant sun and warmth or a tropical clime. My heart is content with four changing seasons.
These days most of my shopping is done online or in the summer and fall since I choose to avoid crowds and malls this time of year. Giving time to others is probably one of the best presents I can offer this year. I will renew friendships and take time to stay in touch, and yes, send out a card or two including to my extended “family” and friends in Germany. A smile and a kind word to others are often the most important deeds of the day. As you take time for others this season, remember to also take time for yourself. Be gentle. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Peace to all.