It's easy to get tired of the same routine. We bring out the same old Christmas tree, same decorations and with almost the same holiday schedule.
For good or bad, though, Christmas is rarely exactly the same each year. Every Christmas brings a change.
Rarely will you celebrate Christmas with all the same people every year. Consider yourself fortunate if you do. In many households, someone will be missing. Sadly, the missing person is often someone who has been lost in death. Human life is frail and not much is required to eliminate us from living.
The human body is awesome but disease, old age and unfortunate events can take us out of this world easily. Your Christmas celebration may not be impacted this year but if you live long enough you will eventually celebrate the season without parents, siblings, a spouse or even a child. We don't like to think about such loss and grief, but every Christmas brings an empty chair or a reason to experience grief.
The people of Christmas are God's greatest gift to us. Our health and our family and friends are the best of life. Take time this Christmas to enjoy the people in your life. Hug on them, love them and be very kind to them. You may not have them next year and you'll be glad you cherished them.
Or, you may be the one missing next Christmas. Hopefully, everyone will sit around the table and talk about what a kind and loving person you were ... or maybe they won't. Don't take the chance; turn up your kindness, love and thoughtfulness this year.
You don't have to shower people with gifts. Gifts are nice and it helps the economy, but most people just need a little love and a few kind words. A little affirmation and appreciation always go a long way. Make a list of people you need to call, send a kind email to or visit in person.
My wife and I love going to see a woman in our town. She is 95 years old and still very independent. She is a greeter at her church, gardens and drives wherever she wants to go. She visits people in the nursing home who are 15 to 20 years younger. She is an easy person to visit because she always inspires us and makes us laugh. She is always kind, never grumpy and has a sweet spirit about life. She exercises every day and eats her vegetables. We always take her a little something when we go to see her like a poinsettia or something simple. You would think we had taken her a bar of gold or diamonds because she is always so appreciative and grateful.
She is our mentor and we want to be just like her. Therefore, be kind, eliminate grumpiness and be sweeter. People might want to come and spend a little time with you.
We need people in our lives because life is not that exciting staring at walls for 24 hours a day. This is what happens to people in nursing homes so often.
Every Christmas has problems. Life is filled with problems. Mary and Joseph had lots of problems their first Christmas. No room in the inn, taxes to pay, an unplanned pregnancy, and eventual threats from King Herod, which caused them to flee into Egypt for safety.
People all over the planet will deal with problems this Christmas. What is your problem this Christmas? How are you going to deal with it and move forward? Sometimes there is no answer to life's problems except to work over or around them. Whatever your problem is this year, please try to not allow it to mess up your Christmas.
Finally, this Christmas, try to take a new look at the person of Christmas — a baby. Whatever your religious spin in life is, you can't feel too ill about the baby of Christmas. Years before Jesus' birth it was told that a babe would be born in Bethlehem and the government would rest upon his shoulders.
He would be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father and the prince of peace.
If you see or experience nothing else about Christmas this year, hopefully one descriptive word about the baby will penetrate your life and that is peace.
Also, be further blessed with routine.
Glenn Mollette is an American syndicated columnist and author.