Forgiving someone is often the best present you could ever give, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg, just a slice of unnecessary pride at best.
I did something I really didn’t want to do yesterday, I went shopping with my wife.¬† Oh well, it wasn’t one of those all day things, just a couple of hours.¬† It gave me the opportunity to observe people and their attitudes this Christmas season.¬† For the most part the adults were somewhat happy, although I did see many who were clearly not happy, and who carried a look of intense worry on their faces.¬† The children, well they were excited and happy that it is almost time for that man in the red suit and the crazy reindeer to arrive, with presents.
I sat on a bench and reflected back to Christmas time in our family as I was growing up here in Fernandina Beach.¬† We would usually get one toy gift on Christmas morning and then the usual underwear, a pair of pants and maybe a new shirt and¬†always socks.¬† Next we all got a bag of fruit with pecans and some hard candy.¬† Mom was busy cooking and baking and sending food over to the homes of other family members just as they were sending baked goods our way.¬† On Christmas day we all visited with each other, enjoy family and cousins having a big time playing with their new toys.
Today I see a different Christmas though.¬† It seems to me that it has become so commercialized that the true spirit of the season may be lost for many.¬† It has become something close to the 1849 California gold rush.¬† People are more concerned with how much they can buy rather then how they can become better family members and friends.¬† I remember¬†¬†Sister Phillip Marie of St. Joseph’s school¬†here in Fernandina¬†telling me that forgiving someone of something that they did that made me mad was indeed a gift, a gift that I should give.¬† I have never forgotten that, to this day I think of this dear lady and her devotion to God and the human family.
Perhaps we should take one last look at what we are giving this Christmas and who we have purposely¬†omitted from our list, these may be the very people we should add to our list.¬† I can tell you this, it is a good feeling to forgive someone of something that happened in the past and start anew.¬† It truly gives you a warm, bright feeling and the true spirit of Christmas comes through.¬† On behalf of my family, we want to wish everyone a very¬†¬†Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.