The Gift of Presence

The best gift you can give this Christmas.

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        Out of the many Christmases you’ve had in your lifetime, chances are if you’ve spent one alone, it is a Christmas you’ll never forget.

         The only Christmas I’ve spent alone was right out of a Hallmark movie, in the most beautiful spot you could imagine – the mountains of Colorado. We had met family members there to have a skiing, sleigh riding kind of Christmas. Everything was wonderful until they all headed for the slopes on Christmas Day and with a simple door slam, I was alone. I was the only one who didn’t ski anymore due to a back injury years earlier.  The previous days alone hadn’t bothered me, but I hadn’t planned ahead for my Christmas day alone. We can talk to ourselves and say it’s just another day, but in our hearts we long for family or friends.

         I decided to take a snowy walk down the hill to the touristy town thinking I could at least peak in store windows. To my surprise, many of the stores were open, and even though I was alone, I had something to do. I watched families slosh by in their snow boots and winter gear and wondered if they noticed that I was alone.

       It’s easy to feel lonely even in a crowd and it’s also hard for groups of people to know you are alone. Either way it hurts.

       What can you do now to help yourself or someone else if you anticipate Christmas day will be spent alone? How can we spread love and joy to others we know will be alone?

        I know you don’t need another thing to do this season, but just take a few minutes to think about who you know that might be alone this Christmas.  Maybe it’s you. Who could you invite over that might be spending it alone too? Is there a church service you could attend together, or place to volunteer serving a Christmas meal?

       The point is to do something. Don’t sit home and feel sorry for yourself. And if you can’t get out, make a phone call or two to friends and family. Write down what you’re thankful for or maybe set a few goals for the year ahead.

         If you have family or friends to spend Christmas with, you are truly blessed, even if Uncle Bob drives you crazy. Think about who you could invite over to join your group. Buy them a small gift. Make them feel part of your family for a day.

       My Christmas day alone was only for a few hours not the entire day, but it still hurt and opened my eyes to the pain people experience on this day.

        And if for some reason you end up being alone this Christmas, let these words from Isaiah 43:1  remind you of his presence.

                  “I will be with you . . . you are precious in my sight.”

 

       You are never alone.  Isn’t this exactly what Christmas is about? The gift of His presence.   Emmanuel . . . God is with us!                   

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