weekly gratitude, christmas edition

thank you "I'm Not Really A Waitress" red polish for making my toes festive!

Seems fitting really that this Sunday night ritual of Weekly Gratitude should find itself on Christmas this year. No better day, really, to quiet your mind and take a minute to not ask God (or Whoever) for one ruddy thing, but rather to thank Him for all that you have.

You all know I come at this life of mine from a Christian standpoint, and so today I am thinking about that greatest gift He gave the world on this day so many years ago. I know that without that blessing, I would not be here, not be who I am or what I am, and would not have this chance to reflect on this life.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. While I love the sweet songs like “Little Drummer Boy” that remind me just how human Christ was (like all of us, He came into this life a sweet little baby, smiling at the people around Him and needing love just like everyone else), I can feel that swelling in my chest when I hear the power in the words of “Gentlemen”. He came to free us and love us so that we might free and love each other with that same resolve.

Seriously, what greater gift could there be? And so…

  1. Thank you God for sending us your only Son; for sending Him so that we might not be frightened of any evil, so that we might rise above our differences and our challenges, so that we were given a chance to live our lives in a way that honors Love and Trust and Goodness. Thank you for this reason to celebrate all of the blessings in our lives, even when things go all pear-shaped. Thank you for giving me a reason to continue trusting You and the Promises that were made in that manger that long-ago night in Bethlehem.
  2. Thank you  Mom and Dad for the family I get to come home to every year (ok, sometimes three times a year as was the case here in 2011). Thank you for still being that safety net I can fall into when I lose my balance. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and showing me what it means not just to be a parent, but a human being. Thank you for never giving me any reason to doubt Love exists in this world.
  3. Thank you for all of my wonderful friends, wherever they are. All across this world there are people I love. Some of you - to name a few -  I have known for years, some only a short time (and some just through this wonder of Blogland) (is that a proper noun? I think it should be). No matter the circumstance of meeting and friendship, I am impossibly grateful to have you in my life. There is no measure for the joy you all bring me. And a special note to The Camaraderie: you have no idea how much I wish I was there with you, raising a glass and saluting another night with the people we love.

I'm keeping it short tonight because undoubtedly we all want to get back to the festivities (and there is some honey-baked ham calling my name as I type – Jared, you should be here to sit around with us and pick at the ham!) but let me just say this in closing: there will always be challenges, hardships and reasons to slip into disbelief. But so long as I remember there was a tiny baby born on Christmas Day who came to make the world a better place for me and the people I love, I will try my damnedest to remember all of the things I have to be thankful for.

And no matter what, I will remember that Love actually is all around


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