Are you feeling it yet?
Have you caught holiday fever?
Is there a tingle in your jingle?
Maybe Christmas is especially tough for you this year. Perhaps your hopes for something special were dashed or delayed.
It’s OK to be sad, you know. (Yes, even at Christmas!). Because a new year is close at hand, a fresh chance for us to heal, grieve, grow, believe.
Or believe again, if you need to.
We’ve all been there. Some years we get more than a little of our fair share. What’s a human to do, in tricky and trying times? When the stars don’t shine as brightly (or at all), what is there to live for?
Might I suggest your dog. (Or cat).
Or fill in your blank with whatever kind of critter that keeps you getting out of bed. Plenty of us have found our best friends in a loving animal soul.
(Trust me, it’s my job to know these things).
Love comes in a zillion shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s covered in fur. We find love in some surprising places, but what matters is FINDING IT. That’s the supreme thing. That and receiving it with grace and (if necessary) grit. Actually, that might be even more important.
All year long.
I had a conversation the other day with a friend. Her year was a lousy year in an ongoing streak of lousy years. The one steady thing she’s thankful for, more than anything else, is her dog. Of course, its a Corgi. An especially handsome dog. He’s a brave, smart, sensitive boy!
And he loves her like nobody’s business.
Amen and pass the peas!
Yes, a dog IS worth living for. (So is a cat, as I learned myself several years back). Because it’s a love thing, and real love doesn’t discriminate. It arrives as is, no return to sender, and we don’t always get a say in what love looks like, or whether it barks, meows, or recites the alphabet backward. Love ain’t always wearing its fancy pants.
But you know it’s love when it sings in your bones, lifts your worry, maybe makes a few hairs stand on end a little.
Love like this wakes us up in the morning and gives us a reason to put up with the un-put-up-withable parts of the day. If you have love, it’s a gift, and never a small one. At Christmas and all year long, it’s the best present that can’t be wrapped.
Except maybe in fur.
Or a funky-doodle-dandy Christmas sweater.
This Christmas, my friends, most of all I wish you love. From the bottom of my heart, as one human being at this end of the internet to you, reading this and maybe wondering why you’re crying (that too is my job), I wish for you the warmth of love.
Not just at Christmas. All year long.
And you deserve it. Especially if you think you don’t.
p.s. Yes, that’s Morty in all the pictures. His family is so proud.