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The Afterglow of Christmas

j0444212“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” Helen Keller

Christmas: a shining star – a break from the tedious schedules we find ourselves in.

But Christmas is more than a nice diversion – a blurb on the radar screen of our hectic lives.

For a moment in time we escaped the drudgery, the pressures, anxiety, and uncertainties.

For a moment in time we humbly knelt before the Christ Child whose birthday we celebrate.

For a moment in time we laid down our heavy burdens of doubt and fear and unanswered questions.

And now Christmas is over for another year: the torn wrappings stuffed in bags ready for the garbage pickup; bows packed away to use again next year. Families have returned home, and we collapse in an easy chair, take a deep sigh of relief and try to relax.

We are left with an afterglow of loving moments, age old songs that brought joy to our spirits and rituals that filled our hearts with special remembrances.

An afterglow that brings hope that life doesn’t have to return to the way it was before with the same grind and same unfulfilling routines. It is an afterglow that maintains the magical remembrance of those special Christmas moments.

I pick up the gifts I was given – love, joy and peace – and find another one waiting for me – that final gift of Christmas – hope; the glow that began at Christmas that now extends beyond.

Hope takes those early tentacles of despair and hopelessness and reminds us there is a tomorrow and gives us the willpower to try one more time, or two or three or how many times it takes to reach our goals.

Hope faces the uncertainty of tomorrow and replaces it with an optimism that things will improve. It allows us to stop running in circles, identify the problems we face and start looking for realistic, long term solutions.

Hope engages the spirit so we will not give up but will continue to believe we can make it.

Hope reminds us we are more than past efforts. We are the abilities not yet discovered or explored; the possibilities untried.

Hope reaches out and asks God to give us the strength and courage to go beyond defeat.

Perhaps like me you will be committed to take what we deeply enjoyed and cherished from this Christmas season and apply it daily until it becomes a part of who we are.

Marlene Anderson

Blessings to all of you who have been faithful readers. A summary of this year’s blog series:

January through March focused on Stress.  Blogs April through May focused on anger and its impact in our lives.  Blogs June through August focused on Relationships and September through November focused on Communication.  I will continue my series on Relationships in January with blogs on becoming an effective parent and Developing a Relationship with Self.

See you in the New Year.

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