I’m feeling short today. Gonna jump on top of this soap box for a minute.

During this season people tend to get lost in busy lives and activities. Even remembering the “Reason for the Season” can get us caught in a loop of scheduling one thing after another until we hit the pillow exhausted. Look at what you’re doing and make sure you don’t forget why you’re doing it. Are you buying presents, running errands, attending parties, going to concerts and sing-a-longs and not spending real time with the people you come into contact with? I see well intentioned wonderful people looking haggard and stressed even when they aren’t taxed by trying to purchase the perfect gift, get to the church on time, or look perfect for the photo.

I would like to share something I don’t share often, something personal and precious to me. 17 years ago, on Christmas day, my oldest son passed away after a 6 year battle with leukemia and an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant. Of his 10 ½  years, only the first 4 were spent not in treatment. I don’t bring this up so you’ll feel sad or sorry for me. I learned a small and real thing from that long experience and heart ache. My hope is to impart what little wisdom I gained to help improve your life, even just a little bit. I could feel bitter about Christmas. I could let this experience and his death ruin every Christmas in the future, but I choose to celebrate and have joy. Why would I want to feel bad? I want to be happy. I want other people to be happy.

I’m hope you’ll slow down a minute. Connect and be present with as many people as you can. Truly value those you’re in contact with every day. Relish your co-workers joking in the morning. Smile and sigh listening to a crazy story your teenager tells you in the car on the way home from school. Shake hands instead of just waving. Hold hands as you walk through the store. Hug as much as possible and hold longer. Find something to smile about and share that smile with everyone who sees you. This life has a finite number of minutes. We don’t know the number, but there is one. There is only one Christmas 2018, New Year 2019, birthday 2020. There is only one moment of each moment that passes. How do we want to spend and remember them?