by Linda Obel
I will be the first to admit I hate the holiday season because right after Thanksgiving, before in some cases, the Christmas carols start playing everywhere I go… all these people excited about what they want for Christmas and then… all those Christmas decorations and all this fake “Holiday Cheer!”… Everything here is so commercialized! “Someone shoot me please!” is what I think to myself sometimes…
This past week I watched a show on a network channel called “Eyes on Kenya”. It featured a few celebrities visiting Kenya and going to all these different places to volunteer. They brought food and clothes and just interacted with children from all these different areas.
Some of the stories on there were pretty sad; but heartwarming at the same time. They showed these children who live in the slums and had barely anything to their name, but they still smiled. There was a family of 5 who lived in a 8×10 foot room, but they still smiled. They decided to take some of the kids to the Giraffe center since they had never set foot outside of the slums, imagine being 6 or 7 and never having been outside of those types of conditions. Never knowing what its like to have a choice in what you want to eat or wear or having to wear the same dress for a month straight. This got me thinking…
In this society today we have become so accustomed to complaining about anything and everything (as I just did with the Christmas issue I still have). We complain about the food we ordered not being cooked right, or having a package delivered 2 days later than when they said it would get here. My personal favorite, which I do all the time “I asked them not to put too much ice and still they filled my cup with ice, so now my drink is going to get watered down”
What we don’t realize is that thinking about negatives all the time makes us forget or overlook all the positive things we still have in our lives. Some people don’t even have the luxury of eating anything besides the canned beans they got from the food shelf which they have been eating day in day out for weeks on end.
In Africa we did not celebrate Thanksgiving, and Christmas was about getting together and having a big feast with family, not what we were going to give or get for Christmas. It was about appreciating what we have, and enjoying each others’ company.
There is this song that we used to sing at home “Count your blessings name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”. During this holiday season, let’s make a conscious effort to try and be thankful for the things that we do have rather than the things we don’t. Look to the future and be thankful that we do have opportunities that others don’t have and only dream about. Let’s take some time and reflect on the good things that we DO have in our lives rather than the negatives that are going on in our lives. If you honestly think about it, there is someone else somewhere who is much worse off than you are. You can at least be grateful you are in your situation, and not that other person’s!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, BE BLESSED!