I love the Christmas season and have since I was a little girl waiting for Santa to arrive. I would start my own Christmas countdown on the last day of November, creating a Christmas Calendar. It wasn't fancy, mind you. Typically, I made a December calendar on a piece of loose-leaf paper from my notebook. There were no fancy drawings, despite my longing to have it enriched with lovely Christmas scenes. Alas, everything I draw would end up on the island of unwanted pictures because I draw so badly. No, it's true, I'm not exaggerating. I once made a small child cry over a picture I earnestly made for him. But, I digress. It was a simple calendar - that was very special to me simply because it counted down to Christmas.
After tacking the calendar to the wall next to my bed, I would end each day by drawing a large red X on the passing day. I've never lost my love of the season and all the magic it brings each year.
I try to think of others during the year. During the holiday season, I always take a moment to help those in need. One of my traditions is to read the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. There is a passage that has always spoken directly to my heart.
Scrooge asks The Ghost of Christmas Present if there is a "peculiar flavor" he is sprinkling from his torch.
The Ghost responds, "There is. My own."
There is a bit of brief dialogue about what type of dinner would be enriched by the flavor, specifically that a poor dinner would be the most befitting of the Ghost's flavor, which prompts Scrooge to ask why a poor dinner.
The Ghost of Christmas Present responds, "Because it needs it most."
"Because it needs it most." Think of that for a brief moment. We've all gone through a rough year, meaning we all need a little extra kindness this year and this wonderful season. Some need it just a little bit more, and that's just a fact. I'm not speaking about only monetary donations. There are times that a simple act of kindness means just as much. What some folks need is just a reminder that people really do care. The news sells the entertainment of anger and contempt; however, they only throw in the occasional story of human kindness.
A smile can mean so much to someone having a bad day and offering an understanding ear to someone looking for someone to listen. Encouraging folks who may be struggling to acclimate to the new normal in their lives can make a profound difference in their lives. A moment of kindness and compassion can lift the spirits of a person working to conquer each day.
I can help you do something nice this holiday season, and I promise you'll feel great about yourself. The father-in-law of one of my dear friends is in a nursing home for rehabilitation. He's experiencing a bit of personal strife as he faces this challenge. I bet you're asking how you can help.
One simple card with a few words of encouragement would mean the world to Mr. Leipski and remind him that the world is filled with kind, caring people. The price of a card, a stamp, and the time it takes to say, "I understand and wish you all the best as you recover," can have a profound impact. Because kindness is never a single act of kindness, it always has a ripple effect.
It will flow to his family, the others staying in the nursing home, the therapists who devote their time to healing people, and on and on. Will this change the world? Probably not, but it will brighten the world of everyone who cares for Mr. Leipski, and it'll brighten your world as well.
Being kind feels so damn good! It fills your heart when it's running low on hope and faith. Kindness costs nothing but is priceless to those who receive it. One day, you might need a boost, and you'll be on the receiving end. Why? Because love always wins. I will NEVER relent or become so cynical that I don't believe that love always wins because it does. We need to work for it, and we need to keep it alive, but as long as we put forth the small effort it takes, love will always win in the end.
I'm sending you all love and virtual hugs during this most wonderful time of the year. Please take a moment and send out a card of love and encouragement to Mr. Leipski; you'll find his address below.
Happiest of holidays to all!
Much, much love,
Mr. Richard Leipski
c/o Florence Health Services
5778 Chapin St.
Florence, Wisconsin 54121