Replace negativity with joy of gratitude
To the editor:
I voted on the Two Cents question "Did Santa bring you everything you wanted for Christmas?" At this writing, the voting was 66 "yes" votes and 56 "no" votes. My vote was "yes."
As I pondered my vote, my first thought was that I hadn't gotten everything because my greatest wish is for peace on Earth, but indeed, I realize that Santa is never going to be able to change the hearts of so many people in one night. So I thought about the more "realistic" gifts this season has brought me, and I voted "yes," and then I looked for the results!
The fact that so many voted "no" was astounding to me! Do we really have that many people who are so unhappy in their lives that they can no longer see joy and happiness? The lack of gratitude for what we have makes so many people miserable. How sad!
The holidays for children are about presents like toys, but as we age from children to adults we are supposed to grow from being self-centered to having a view that encompasses the world around us.
I am grateful that there wasn't a terrorist attack at a Christmas Eve service. I am grateful that most of my family was able to gather together to share the holiday, even though we missed family serving in the Navy far away from us.
I am grateful that unlike so many in the world we had a small but satisfying dinner and full bellies. I am grateful that I saw the smiles of the little ones, and then the smiles of the parents who were happy for them. I am grateful that I live in a place where many who didn't have the finances, or the family, to share a special dinner could go to a meal prepared for them and sit with others who also would have been alone.
Were there trials for us this holiday? Absolutely. Someone dear to us has been in the hospital fighting for his life, and his wife (my best friend for over 40 years) is fearful of losing him. Yet he made it this far and I am grateful, and I have hope that he will be able to get past this and they will return to the life they had.
Another dear friend is losing his battle with cancer, but he was there with his family for the holidays and I am grateful he was able to spend one more Christmas with them.
I know we all have struggles, but I also know that the choices we make, especially how we chose to look at things, can make such a difference.
I will add one more wish for the new year to come. I wish for all who are unhappy to feel the good that is in their lives and to find the joy of being grateful for that good. Give it at least as much attention as you do the things you believe are missing in your Christmas and see what the new year can bring to you. I hope that next year you can answer this question again and find happiness instead of disappointment.