This Time of Year

Temperatures have dropped as have all the leaves from the trees. Days are shorter and yet in these weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas there is much hustle and bustle for all of us.

Menzo Case

There is just so much to do!  This time of year is a favorite for time with family and friends, time to enjoy good food and cheer, and time to give thanks for all that has happened during the year.  But with all that there is to do, we just run out of time!  In my weak moments, I like to say we ought to go the way of the Cranks (Christmas and the Cranks).  In that movie, an “empty nester” couple determine to spend the holidays in the Caribbean – leaving behind all the scheduling headaches and the mad dashes to create just the right atmosphere for all concerned.  Sounds pretty nice!  However, in the final analysis, it’s not consistent with the message of the season.  Is it really about checking off another item from the bucket list?

So, this holiday season, we are determined to live out what we believe.  Simply put, we need to spend more time considering and serving others.  Not only do we benefit others, we also are helped (i.e., get a different perspective, make a new connection, feel a new sense of accomplishment, etc.).  Sorting through all the calendar items is difficult, and making this a priority takes some tenacity.  It’s surprising how other events or festivities get in the way!  Just put first things first.  Determine what you are going to do.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew; start with a specific hourly commitment (maybe 2 hours per week). Then, determine what can be done in 2 hours.  Examples:  Ring a Salvation Army bell outside of Tops, serve at the local food pantry, visit a senior living facility or, my favorite, lend a hand at a Habitat project.  Now, put it on your calendar and follow through.

We are gearing up for the It’s a Wonderful Life Festival in Seneca Falls (December 8, 9, 10).  Stop by “Bedford Falls” and get inspired!  In the movie, Clarence the angel says, “Strange isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”  This season and next year, choose to make that kind of impact on others.