Last week my mom and I made a Christmas Day run to the Tom Thumb grocery store near her home in Garland to pick up some items for a Christmas tree-themed veggie tray that no one ate.
On the way home we stopped at Sonic to get unsweet teas and marveled at the fact that these establishments are open on Christmas Day.
It made me a little sad that people were having to work on Christmas, but of course that didn’t stop me from allowing them to ring up my purchases. My mom and I talked about it and I reminded her that there are people who don’t celebrate Christmas and there are people who may not have any family around with which to celebrate.
I wrote a little sob story last week about what a crappy year 2018 was. How quickly we forget to count our blessings. I reflect back on the year and realize that I never once got sick. I didn’t have to escape a house fire or a violent crime. I got to celebrate Christmas with my family and I got some pretty sweet gifts.
I think sometimes it’s easier to complain than it is to note the great things you have in life. This year for Christmas I spent two nights at my parents’ home and left early Dec. 26. My mother had left me some cash and a Chick-fil-A gift card along with some leftover food and items from my late grandmother’s estate. Mind you, I am 41 years old and my mom is still giving me gas money.
We take it for granted that we get to spend holidays with our loved ones. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be in the military or to have your family in another country. FaceTime is great and all, but there’s no substitute for the real thing. On Christmas Day I got to watch my nephews put together Legos while “It’s a Wonderful Life” was playing in the background and Mom was warming up chicken noodle soup. One niece was cross-stitching a bookmark; the other was just hanging out and being silly. It wasn’t a fancy affair; many of the participants were still in their pajamas. I fell asleep on the couch for about half an hour. But there was no pressure to perform or to make people laugh or to do much of anything.
That’s the thing about family; you just have to show up. They love you no matter what. Those of us who have close relationships with our families are so fortunate, and I hope we never lose sight of that.
I complain about the four-hour drive to Dallas, but at least I don’t have to spend the day in an airport, or worse, not get to see them at all.
As we enter 2019, let’s give thanks for the things we do have. Let’s remember to be kind to one another. Let’s reach out to those who may not have family in close proximity or just may be going through a difficult time. Everyone is fighting a battle.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.