"Sleep, hugs, kisses, love, friends, family, memories, smiles, laughter and fun. The best things in life are free."
The countdown to Christmas is on and I am happy to say that the bulk of my shopping is done. Just little things and the wrapping part remain, so I am pleased at where things stand for now. Every year I try to think creatively and choose a nice variety of gifts for my family that are not only what they would like, but are also memorable as well. This year I hit the jackpot with the "early" Christmas gift for my daughter Shannon I purchased. It was tickets to a Hunter Hayes concert which was so incredible that she said "Nothing could ever top this!" He actually came out on a small stage five feet away from us and performed for part of the show which was so amazing! A tall order for next year to try to match or beat this gift, but at least I have a whole year to sort that out! The look on her face at the concert was worth every penny and as a mom it is so heartwarming to see your child having a moment he or she will forever cherish. With so much emphasis these days on the gifts we buy at this season, it got me thinking about the incredible gifts we have that money can't buy. They are precious things or people that we may at times take for granted, but I would like to bring them to the forefront at this time to remind us of how fortunate we are. When it comes to gifts that money can't buy as they say in The Sound of Music "these are a few of my favourite things."
~ Special People ~
Cherish your family members and special friends. You honestly do not know how long they will be in your life. It is so easy to become comfortable with those we see on a regular basis that we fail to let them know how much they mean to us. Once they are gone you do not want to have any regrets. My Gramma and Grampa Sudds were incredible people. Not only were they amazing relatives, but I also considered them dear friends. We would talk for hours about all the latest news in all of our lives over a cup of coffee or bowl of fresh berries from their farm, and I always left their home feeling refreshed by their company. I miss them terribly, but know that I cherished our relationship that we had to the fullest. I regret that my kids never knew them as when they passed away Tyler and Shannon were too young, but my grandparents live on in the stories I have to tell about them. Look around you and let people know they matter. People need to hear it and you will feel so happy that you put a voice to what you often think about someone.
,~ Good Health ~
If you are in good health be so grateful. Many people this holiday season are not so fortunate. I am aware of many families who have family members who are battling serious illnesses and are in a deep sense of uncertainty about their loved one's futures. I have experienced this in the past with family members as well and it is a very stressful and sad way to live. Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Value yourself enough to take steps to be well and stay well. Experiencing a state of wellness is something many people dream of, so if you are in good health this season, thank God. When I find myself complaining about some minor ailment, I am suddenly reminded that so many people are dealing with terrible health issues and I am mindful to be thankful rather than complain.
~ Employment ~
It doesn't take long to realize that without financial income, we would be in a very bad way. We have experienced unemployment in our home and know the stress of living on a very tight budget. Many people are out of work and are dealing with the reality of not knowing if they will be able to pay their bills each month. If you have employment be grateful. Some of us have dream jobs. Some of us have decent jobs and some of us have what we might deem as the worst jobs of all. No matter what category you fall into, know that your job is supporting your family and assisting to meet their many needs. If your job is difficult, dissatisfying or inappropriate for you, pray for a new opportunity. In the meantime be thankful for where you are right now because every job provides an environment where we can really learn something if we are open to it.
~ Precious Memories ~
Memories are keepsakes of the heart. I have many precious memories of Christmas growing up with special Christmas pageants at the church, Christmas Eve at my Aunt Bev's house and sharing special times with my family. Many of those family have passed on, yet my memories will always live on. Take a stroll down memory lane from time to time and reflect on all the positive you have experienced. It will warm your heart, bring a smile to your face and remind you of how much you have to be grateful for.
~ A Forgiven Heart ~
The most important gift money can't buy this Christmas is a forgiven heart. Not only is it important to offer and receive forgiveness from each other, but it is vital for each one of us to experience God's forgiveness. Many people feel they have to work for God's love. Many struggle with feelings of unworthiness. They feel if they are good enough, or try hard enough that maybe just maybe God will love them and allow them entry into Heaven one day. Christ came as a baby to offer us the free gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins. God wants to give each one of us a clean slate and a fresh start and all we have to do is ask. There is nothing that we could do to make God love us any less or any more. The free gift of a forgiven heart is offered to each one of us and I can't think of a greater time of year than Christmas to experience this life changing gift that money can't buy.
So this Christmas in the midst of all the store bought gifts, look around the room and notice the special people at your table and reflect on all that you have been blessed with that money can't buy. There is so much more to appreciate and counting your blessings is a wonderful thing!
Little Lesson Learned: Many of the most wonderful gifts we have on a daily basis are absolutely priceless. Let's make a concious effort to appreciate them!
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2014