“In this time of abundance let’s not forget the people who don’t even dare to dream or smile.” –– S.C.

After we have given and received our gifts, celebrated with large family dinners or intimate moments, this time of year always inspires me.

I hope that between ceremonies, buying and preparing food, creating table decorations, finding and wrapping the perfect gifts, and after taking your photos with Santa, we don’t forget the people who don’t even dare to dream or smile.

Every year at this time, with all the joy I feel in my heart, and the Christmas decorations I take care to set up all around our home, it is hard to forget but also hard to think about the poor, the needy, abused, sick, the hungry children, the deprived, people who spend Christmas in war zones or hospitals, and those who don’t even know Christmastime is here.

My greetings go to those and many more all over the world who find that at this time of celebration, they instead possesses sad hearts, hungry stomachs and the threat of death. How I wish life was more fair. Millions of people everywhere on earth are hungry, homeless, sick, helpless, kidnapped, injured, and killed. At this time of great rejoicing there are more miseries in life than there are Christmas trees.

Each of us could have been one of them and each of us can make a small change to create big differences that will end the suffering. I propose that we open this ugly box of miseries during the holiday season to offer up our hearts and minds––even if only in prayer––to those humans who are in unspeakable anguish.

Closer to home, we can begin to end misery starting with our own families.

During the closing days and hours of 2018, try to become more compassionate within our own family dramas. Seek to find peace where there is strife and disconnection. Find ways to calm the turmoil instead of fanning the flames of discontent.

Life can only be fair if we become fair.

When I decided to write about giving and gifts, inspired by the season and this time of the year, I realized something rather surprising. While digging into this subject, and what it means to me I realized that I rarely receive gifts. I’m someone who chooses to give instead.That’s why I appreciate the little things I’ve received from the closest people. I usually keep the box, the ribbon, and the bag! What’s wonderful about giving and not expecting anything in return is that when you receive you will always treasure what is offered and never take anything gift for granted.

The best gift I have received in my life hasn’t come from what I unwrapped under the tree, but has been cultivated during a lifetime––namely, the confidence my kids have that I can fulfill any dream. Other precious gifts bestowed upon me are words from many close friends and family. Some of the most precious words I have received came from my son when he told me, “Mom, how come you always turn out to be right? How do you know everything ?!” My son believes I’m a superhero! Actually, both of my children think I have supernatural powers.

Because they think I can reach anything and that nothing is impossible for me, I have been able to accomplish the unthinkable in my life. I humbly thank the universe that they feel this way.

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