This is my last day as a 61 year old. I don’t feel any different than when I was a 31 year old – well except for a few more aches, pounds, and stuff like that. I am a blessed woman with a loving family, lots of friends and acquaintances, and a myriad of good things in my life. Sometimes it is easy to forget that others do not have these things. They come from broken homes, alcoholic parents, uncaring families, and have been left to fend for themselves.
At Christmastime when others get together with loved ones, these less fortunate stand out in the crowd and the loneliness is more obvious. Perhaps some of that is our fault. Americans especially have turned what should be a celebrated holy day into an outlandish “spend more than you can afford” holiday. I hope that this Christmas will be an exception. Due to economic stresses, the rank and file are learning to cut back and enjoy a simple Christmas instead of an extravagant one. This doesn’t solve the loneliness problem but does refocus and redefine “gifts” as something given perhaps a meal, an invitation, a handmade item, or just time well spent in conversation. Time spent with those we care about is more important than anything available at the mall.