“Tiz the season to be jolly,” is a line in one of those famous carols we have heard hundreds of times over the course of our lives. For indeed, Christmas and the holidays are a time when many of us are spending time with friends and family, buying gifts for our loved ones, and experiencing the joy on children’s faces as they realize that Santa has not forgotten them this year.
However, Christmas and the holidays, for many, are a time of great distress and sadness. For those who struggle to pay their basic bills, it’s a time of great heartache as they will not get to see the broad smiles of their children when they open that gift they have been asking for. For others, like the Cunniff family, there will be much grief and sadness as they mourn the loss of a devoted father and husband. And for some, it will be a time of great loneliness, especially for some of our seniors. Yesterday, I was able to spend some time with our residents at the Albany County Nursing Home who have been and continue to be an inspiration to me.
But whatever our circumstance in life may be, whatever our religion may dictate or even if you have no religious beliefs to speak of, we can all take part in the gift of Christmas, which is the gift of hope. Hope that there is something greater than all of us. Hope that mankind will one day live in peace. Hope that if we are without a job that we will find work in the new year. Hope that our grief will dissipate with time. Hope that our current sorrows will soon turn into joy.
For I would venture to guess that there are many of us who have lost hope. That there are those of us who feel that all is lost and that darkness will never turn into the bright of day.
My wish on this Christmas is that we all receive the greatest gift there is, all of us no matter what our situation. That out of the dark winter sky, a light will shine down and touch our souls and fill us with the greatest gift there is, the gift of hope.
From my family to yours, I wish you a most blessed Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.