From the time I was married and raising a family, I strived to have my family experience the same magic I did as a child. But this Christmas season was different. It was filled with grown children having their own new and other family traditions. Naturally, I was disappointed without our tradition of “Seafood Christmas Eve Dinner & Midnight Mass”. That came into proper focus in middle of the month. I received a phone call from my family doctor giving me an appointment to see my surgeon. He didn’t like the test results from my annual physical. What a wakeup call! On my drive home from the surgeon’s office I gave serious thought to my whole view of what this season is all about. The media filled the air with ads about gifts, family gatherings and Star Wars. Was there a message here? Is there a reason for all this joyous celebration? Wishing someone Merry Christmas is now replaced by “Season’s Greetings”. Songs such as “Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer” and “Santa Baby” replacing “ Silent Night” or “Away in a Manger” and other traditional carols that were hard to find on the airwaves, much less being played the day after Christmas. Whatever happened to the true “12Days of Christmas” that lasted until Epiphany? In my mind, the whole season had become a giant commercial enterprise over shadowing not only Thanksgiving but also Halloween. Even more disappointing was seeing all the “stuff.”
The reason for this writing is to challenge you as I strive to find joy in the seemingly bad news of the season.
My epiphany came that very afternoon as I was in the mall parking lot and watched a young mother struggle with her packages and an infant carrier while attempting to find her keys in the rain. I found myself hopping out of my car and offering to help. Her expression of relief provided me with a sense of joy and worth that I had helped someone and had done so without any expectations. That moment reminded me why I celebrate the Christmas tide and also to realize the other stuff is just “stuff.”
So this new year my challenge is to embrace “Servant Leadership”, as found in Matthew 23:11 – “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” It is only in giving of ourselves that we truly feel worthy and fulfilled. As I set my goals this year, I’m looking for ways to fulfill on that vision of myself. I invite you to do the same, and discover how the spirit of giving and service help you and your business throughout the year.
May everyone reading this have a wonderful new year filled with peace and fulfillment. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15