Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Reflections

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the holidays with family and friends. I used to write a Christmas letter every year for my family when I was young – my mom had a long list of people she sent Christmas cards to, and for many years my job was to write the annual Christmas letter. I haven’t written a Christmas letter in a while. Instead of a letter this year, I've written a post with a few reflections I've had this Christmas.

Christmas tree

Christmastime and a foot injury
Christmastime, as usual, has been a busy time. I unfortunately injured my foot just before the holiday season kicked off, which has caused some changes in my holiday plans in the past month or so. For example, I needed to find ways to walk and drive less than I normally would in my everyday life.

I spent several December evenings with my foot propped up on pillows, an ice pack on my foot and Christmas movies playing on TV. I also had the opportunity to attend some lovely Christmas events with friends, which helped me to get in the Christmas spirit.
  Christmas tea

I usually enjoy decorating for Christmas – I have many indoor and outdoor decorations, a Christmas village, ornaments I’ve kept for years, and other holiday items. But this year, I kept it simple. I put up my Christmas tree (with some help from a relative) with the lights and ornaments. I bought a poinsettia that’s displayed on my table and displayed a few other decorations around my home. Decorating my home really helped me get in a Christmas spirit and keep a positive attitude through my foot injury.

While I normally enjoy the outdoor decorations, this year I didn’t place them outside. Instead, I’m enjoying my neighborhood’s Christmas lights and the Christmas lights I see when I drive around the city. There’s something about twinkling Christmas lights on dark December nights that makes me smile. When I was young, my family would go on Christmas light tours around the city, and I’ve always enjoyed seeing the variety of Christmas lights and decorations.

Throughout the time my foot has been injured, I’ve been purposeful about trying to keep a good attitude, to adjust to what I could do while it was harder to get around, and to watch movies, listen to music and read books that were positive and uplifting. While it’s hard to be patient as my foot heals, keeping a good attitude throughout it has helped me deal with it.

Also, being injured made me realize how much decorations, flowers and other items lift my spirits. And visits from friends and their offers to run to get groceries and other necessities really helped as well, especially early on when my foot was quite sore and walking very far was difficult. Knowing I had a support system and someone I could call or text if I needed something definitely helped.  

Soon after I was injured, I bought a colorful bouquet of flowers and displayed them on the table – a small thing that helped make my day better. Doing this, along with all of these other things such as decorating and having friends I could reach out to, helped me stay positive through the experience of having an injured foot. Now my foot is beginning to heal, and I’m thankful my injury wasn’t more serious.

Fall bouquet

Being purposeful about keeping good spirits in spite of an injury and incorporating decorations and flowers in my house reminded me of a time many years ago when my dad was in the hospital for several days during the Christmas season. My mom brought some Christmas decorations to his room and placed a door hanger decoration on his door with the “12 Days of Christmas” as a theme. It had a pocket for each day that included a little gift to my dad from her. Decorations like that really helped make the hospital room seem brighter and more cheerful, and I’m sure it helped my dad’s spirits.

Now I’m reminded of people who are in situations such as being ill or being unable to leave their home often. Little things, like a Christmas decoration, flowers, or even reaching out to someone with a call or text, can really help. I plan to watch for and think of ways in the future I can do something small for someone in a situation like that could lift their spirits.

Merry Christmas to you all! I wish you all a happy new year.

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