Finding Beauty and Peace this Christmas

I opened the car door and quickly got inside. We were out and about without our son, running errands on our way to a holiday party thrown by our friends. I had just walked the length of the parking lot because every spot was full with shoppers for Christmas. I looked inside my pharmacy bag, checked the prescription and nearly folded the small bag to be thrown out when I saw the front of a holiday card – a nice one.

Decorated Christmas Tree“Wow what a nice holiday card to put in every prescription bag,” I thought to myself as I reached into the bag and pulled it out. I was looking at the beautiful scene on the front of the card thinking it looked like the front of a card that had been cut by hand from the inside of a card. (My grandma does this to recycle the cards and use them as gift tags). “That’s odd, for such a big store.”

I flipped the card over to examine it more and that’s when I saw the handwritten note. I quickly said to my husband it must be from the pharmacist that helped us with Bubba’s prescription when nobody else would.

“There is no way it’s just a generic card,” was my husband’s initial response. I began to read…

“Thank you for the nice thank you note. It was the nicest thank you note I have received. I know it’s a cliché, but we were just doing our job. Sometimes getting things done takes a little time and patience by everyone involved, but we try to help people out whenever we can. You are very kind.”

It was signed by the previously nameless pharmacist, that I had indeed sent a thank you note to back in October. He helped us when no other pharmacist in the area would take the time to make the medicine we needed for Bubba.

What a step to recognize an act that must have touched him enough to remember my name when I called in to refill my prescription. This is what the holiday season is about.

The Holiday Party

We arrived at the holiday party our friends were hosting. What a beautiful season (which would have been enhanced by snow, but I guess mother nature has forgotten we live in the Northeast), to gather with friends and family.

MP900446435What I like to do sometimes is to just stand back (usually near a tray of food), and watch everyone as if they were unaware of my presence. You truly see the emotions, and feelings, and sometimes hear the conversations, of those gathered together in a way you never have before. I recommend this approach to you, especially at holiday time. What you see is usually emotional and heartwarming.

This year there were mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, brothers and sisters, and two mothers to be. They ranged in age from seniors to neonatal. It was a true sight of all ages, celebrating as a family, even though they really weren’t all genetically family.

Each new person that entered got a hug from those already in the room, everyone was smiling, laughing, grabbing some food, and drink. Many laughs and conversations were had. Pictures were snapped, especially of the two lovely ladies (sister in laws) waiting for the arrival of their first children. Both stood sideways, bellies together for a beautiful photo that will live in their family for eternity.

This year will bring such a new, never-before-experienced, life. Not only for those new babies, but the two couples bringing those babies up. There is nothing like adding a child, or a bunch, to your home.  I hope this holiday season the twinkle of their tree lights, and the beauty of their families warms their hearts, and prepares them for the joy they will be experiencing (and sleepless nights) the next year!


This past weekend I spent a wonderful brunch with the ladies of my (husband’s) family. Every year these ladies make dozens of cookies, and get together to share their lives, the holiday season, and of course cookies! It’s a “time out” of the hustle and bustle of the season.

Another moment to step back and observe the holiday cheer…

MP900444051Two sets of mother and daughter, a few daughters-in-law and aunts gathered for some discussion and food. This year we had a guest we haven’t previously had, a woman who recently lost her husband. Loss is difficult no matter what time of year it is, but when it is within a month of the holiday season it seems especially difficult.

I hope that the warmth and love of the family that surrounded her, even though only her own through marriage, helped ease some of her pain and deal with her loss this holiday season. The tears that were shed were in memory of a terrific man, who lived a loved, and wonderful life and spent many years in retirement, but none-the-less will be missed.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget what’s important, especially when we see loss, or suffering or people just spreading ill-will… so it’s important to remember, especially during the holiday season, the things most important in life. The people who help us through the tough times, the ones who are always there no matter what happens, or what the gossip is. They are our family, those people who truly support us in all endeavors. It’s time, this season, to celebrate the positives of life and those we love, and make sure we don’t forget the bottom line – family, peace, and cheer.

MP900440956Auld Lang Syne…

No matter what war is raging inside of you, from whatever ails you, to whatever ails a family member, it’s important to take that step back, stand on the outskirts of the activity and watch the wonder, joy and amazement of the holiday season. Find peace, and remember everyone is in the trenches of life in their own way.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!