Monday, January 4, 2010

The Christmas rush

From about a week before Thanksgiving until about a week after Christmas our life just seems like one big blur. We are finally done traveling now, seeing all the family and are now going to enjoy being home for a few weekends.

Each Thanksgiving I have the desire and thought to get out cards to everyone on our list but usually by Christmas they are still sitting on our counter. Last year I had everything purchased and ready to go but unfortunately you can't buy more time in the day. I did manage to find some time during one of our car trips this year and I am proud to say that the letters just need stamps and then they will be off to many homes!

We had some great holiday moments these past few months...lots of great food, chances to see cousins, aunts and uncles play together, catch up on our lives with those we don't have a chance to see as often, opportunities to hear great news from some family members and also have minutes holding a baby that was just 5 days old. Chris and I even got about an hour to shop together and look for some Cyclone gear...without kids!

With the rush that we seem to have at Christmas I was reminded this year during one of our family gatherings just how precious life truly is and to treasure the moments that we do have with family and friends. One of my sisters friends called just as we were getting ready to eat. My sister wasn't home but my mom gladly answered the call and chatted with the friend on the other line. There was some small talk, happy holiday greetings and then the news that this teenager had a brain tumor. This friend has already had 16 surgeries and has had a very tough life and worked hard at being a normal teenager while also having cerebral palsy. She has done a lot of what a normal teenager does though and I have seen her many times as I have come to watch my sister do different dances, been a cheerleader and also different school functions that we have seen her at. This teenager is scheduled to have her 17th surgery in February.

As you reflect back on 2009 and look forward to the rest of 2010 please remember to keep people like this teenager in your prayers. There are lots of families that have many needs this year. Take a moment to think about what you can do for a family that is having a hard time this year and what you can do to help. Here are a few ways that you can help someone this year that doesn't take a lot of time and can even be done anonymously...
1) make a meal for a family and drop it off for them at their home
2) provide a gas card and mail it to a family
3) get some restaurant gift cards and mail them to a family
4) watch a child for a parent while they need to go to a doctors appointment or just so the parent can have a break
5) send a note of encouragement to someone...this just requires a few thoughtful words and a 44 cent stamp
6) buy some staples of groceries...bread, milk, cheese, butter, flour, sugar, hot dogs, meat, peanut butter and jelly, mac & cheese, ground meat and condiments...drop these off at a home where a family could use a week of food
7) provide a ride for someone...not everyone has a car that functions well in the winter. Pick someone up at their home or offer to take someone to the store when you go as well. You could even enjoy a nice cup of coffee together while you are out shopping.

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