Christmas is a beautiful time of the year for most of us, most of the time. But it can be a very painful time of year for some, especially those who have experienced recent loss or who (for various reasons) have fewer family options. Yes, Christmas can be the best of times or the loneliest of times, the most wonderful time of the year or the most painful.
The video below reminds us that this can be a time to reach out to others who have a hard time experiencing Christmas. Perhaps it is a relative or friend who has recently lost a spouse and who will be alone for the first time this Christmas. Perhaps it is someone who is left out because his family is far away. Perhaps it is someone who is just shy or even a little antisocial, but whose pain can be seen underneath that reticence or grouchiness. I know that I have some sick parishioners who need a special visit this week.
There are always those who need to be included, those who, for various reasons, feel excluded.
This video features a hare and a bear who are fast friends. Unfortunately, the bear always misses Christmas because he is in hibernation. Something inside the hare tells him that Christmas will not be Christmas without his friend, without the bear being able to experience the joy of Christmas. It occurs to the hare that there is a particular gift that would help his friend to enjoy Christmas, even if only for a moment. And so he gives the gift, which you will see at the end of the video.
I leave it to you to watch the touching conclusion and to ask yourself who the bear is in your life. Who is it that you need to reach out to this Christmas season? For me it was an old family friend with whom I had lost touch during this past year and whose mind is beginning to fade with age. She was good to my father in his dying process and so I sought her out and we had a nice talk.
How about you? Who is that someone in your life who needs some special attention this Christmas and New Year? Christ will surely be pleased if you give the gift of love.