by Diane Cretin
With the holidays approaching, you may be excited or really struggling. Politics remain complicated, you might be struggling financially, or may be lonely. Some of you may feel overwhelmed by all that needs to get done. Your house may seem crowded as many work from home as well as homeschool their children. Others of you might be wishing for a crowded home. It is certainly a time like no other. So what can we do? I suggest that we look for ways to spread cheer.
There are many ways to do that with no one perfect choice as we are all different people. You can do it without spending a lot of money. If you have children at home, could they draw a picture? It could be for someone in the house or could be sent to a friend, neighbor, or far away family member.
My granddaughter likes to draw and I received this drawing last week. I put it on a bulletin board that hangs just above my computer monitor at my home desk. It makes me smile and think of our connection every time I look at it.
If you are good with the computer, you can send electronic cards if you don’t want to have to mail letters. I received a lovely electronic card (as well as mailed cards) when my mother died in November. I still think of it.
I believe that a personal hand written note or card is a treasure. Please don’t tell yourself they have no value. Could you write someone a note saying that you miss them and are sorry you cannot gather in person while telling them what it is that you like about them? The person who receives that note will probably keep it for some time, perhaps tucking it into a favorite book.
You could bake cookies or make ornaments and do a porch drop off to surprise someone. You could also do a porch drop off with extra food you cook and take leftovers to someone you know who lives alone or might be struggling financially. Last week I heard Kamala Harris say that 1 in 8 households reported they did not have enough money for food. Read that again - 1 in 8 households. If you are going hungry, please contact our Caring Ministries Director Colleen Soldate. A friend posted this picture on Facebook as a way to share food. Using disposable muffin tins makes it easy to reheat small portions and no one has to worry about getting dishes back.
My 9 year old granddaughter is currently planning what to do as a porch drop off for her best friend and her best friend’s little sister. I am challenging myself to think of something to do as a porch drop off for the people in the three houses that we share a driveway with. We all need connections now more than ever.
Don’t forget the power of your voice. A regular phone call, Face time, and zoom calls all have value and can spread cheer. I recently joined a Facebook group that focuses on diversity and inclusion. We had a zoom call last Thursday night as a “getting to know you” event. It was fabulous! I got to know a few people well. I still get a warm feeling thinking about our sharing and look forward to knowing them even better. I feel that they will be lifelong friends.
For those who have other people at home, are you taking time to play board games or cards or put puzzles together as a family? Are you watching movies together and perhaps having popcorn and hot chocolate? All ages of people need to feel valued and connected during this holiday season and beyond.
We need to spread cheer to ourselves as well. Try to focus on the positive.
May we lean into the good stuff that remains and remember that we are deeply loved by God.