Tuesday, December 21, 2010
All heroes don't wear uniforms...Have you finished shopping? Have you started cooking? Are you enjoying this most sacred and beloved of holiday seasons? Are you feeling really tired but really happy? I hope so.
I was sitting in the chair at Hairtique while Denee did something about my roots this morning when I heard someone in the background mention carrying grudges. I frowned into the mirror—and a frowning woman with a headful of aluminum foil is not a pretty sight, believe me. This is Christmas, I thought. We do not need to talk about grudges.
Then I thought about gifts. (Aluminum foil on your head intensifies the thinking process. At least, that’s the story I’m sticking to.) I love giving gifts, like receiving them, enjoy coming on something old and cherished and giving it to someone who will love it as I have. I am oh-so-fortunate that I don’t really need anything, nor do I even want much. Exept, like Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality, I really do want world peace, which brings me to grudges.
What better gift to both the giver and the receiver than tossing off a grudge borne too long for whatever reason? It’s free, it’s loving, and it’s huge. Unlike many of the things we wrap, it will be remembered forever. Just when the receiver thinks she’s forgotten it, it’ll turn up at a time and place when she needs it most.
And while we’re at it, what better gift to anyone on your list than the one of time, watching “Jeopardy” with your grandmother when you need to be doing something else; reading Green Eggs and Ham for the 100th time when the supper dishes are still languishing on the table; shoveling the snow from your neighbor’s path? What better gift than sharing a sustained, gasping laugh over a cup of something warm and comforting? What better gift than listening in silence to someone who needs to talk? What better gift than saying, “No, you don’t look fat,” simply because the person needs to hear it?
In the post office where I work, hundreds of parcels addressed to “any soldier” have crossed the counter this holiday season. Some are sent by parents and spouses whose own particular soldiers have requested care packages for friends who don’t receive them, some by veterans, some by people who just want to do something. The senders have spent countless hours assembling the boxes, then stood in line cheerfully, filled out Customs forms, and paid $12.50 a pop to make the day of someone they don’t even know. It seems all heroes don’t wear uniforms.
But all heroes give. Whether it be forgiveness, time, laughter, empathy, money or most difficult and most importantly, of themselves. Giving, from the very first Christmas with the birth of a child who grew up to give all, to now when so many have forgotten or no longer believe, is a primary “reason for the season.”
With that, I wish you the merriest and safest of Christmases. I hope you have family time and more food than you need. I hope you get whatever gifts your heart is crying out for. And I hope you give.
Till next time.
posted by Liz Flaherty # 5:36 PM
Great post Liz. I remember Oprah Winfrey once saying that she was holding a grudge against someone who, not only didn't care, but was shopping at Tiffany's without giving her a thought. That's when she realized she was only hurting herself. And bless those sending a soldiers care packages. I remember how my husband loved getting them when he did a tour for desert storm. Sounds like a great idea.
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