Well, at this reading, make it twenty seven days…
I got married last year to a woman who’s opening line to me was, “I’ll never let you be homeless, and I’ll never let you be hungry.” It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. She has been such a steady influence of ease, taking everything in stride, worrying about nothing, and being grateful for everything she has. I have hitched my wagon to her pony and I haven’t looked back.
Last year on Christmas morning, my wife put together about a hundred bags of food, enough for a good meal in each bag, to hand out to those living on the street. It was an assembly line of food and bags, put into the back seat and trunk of her car to distribute to those in need of a good meal. She begins to prepare for this about a month before Christmas, getting her sights set on what is needed to help those who need it.
So, in honor of her sense of giving and her embodiment of what the Christmas spirit of giving is all about, this year I am beginning a tradition: The thirty days of Christmas.
And I am not talking about making a list and checking it twice. This has nothing to do with shopping for anyone or for anything. Within this thirty days of Christmas, none of what I’m going to ask you to do is done in a store.
No, this year, within this thirty days, I’m not asking you to make a lists of gifts you need to buy for anyone. Instead, I’m asking that you make a list of things that you’ve already been given,
a list of the things you already have.
Follow me on this for a minute.
The two most popular movies on TV every Christmas are “A Christmas Carol” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In both movies, the main characters-Ebeneezer Scrooge and George Bailey, respectfully-are transported from their current existence by spirits from outside of their world. And both characters, at the end of their stories, are returned to their lives, alive and in tact, full of love and energy for life.
But most importantly, both share the feeling of deep appreciation and profound gratitude for everything they encounter that, until their reentry into existence, was mundane, routine and even annoying. All of these things, as a result of their transformation, were changed into a thousand pieces of life’s magic. From bedsheets to doorknobs, their gratitude was overflowing, Scrooge dancing in his bedroom and Bailey running down the street with joy.
So about that list:
Every day, I want you to wake up in the morning and think of one thing you’ve been given that you now hold. This isn’t a list of presents you’ve received every Christmas. No, instead, it’s a list of things you have today, things that you now can truly appreciate, parts of your life-no matter how small-that make you grateful.
And the list is emphasize the inclusive and mundane. It should be an embrace of the plain, the ordinary and the routine. It should include everything you see: The coffee in your cup, the light in the sky, the bed you just left and the water that came out of shower. The car that turned over the first time you tried, and the beautiful red, yellow and green colors at the stop light.
One different thing, every day, each day until Christmas, looking at the beauty in the ordinary. Thirty things that, until this month, would go by unnoticed, taken for granted, or ignored.
These thirty days of Christmas, give your world a new focus. Give your day a new life. Dance in your bedroom, run down your street, and notice the breezes, the colors, the buildings, the cars, the pavement and the people. All that is, all that you miss, look to for the reclamation of life and the spirit of Christmas.
Come back to your life anew. Reclaim the gratitude that lifts the spirit of love. One different thing per day, for thirty days. You’ll never look at Christmas the same again.
By entrusting us with your feelings, we help you take steps that you see necessary to begin and put forth the energy to make the needed change.
Now notice something: Trust in a coach, mentor, or guide helps you see what's in front of you. We see a Coach for Your Heart a little like an emotional Sherpa, somebody that helps you climb your mountain by pointing out where to best step along the path.
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