I know from personal experience that not everyone will be full of seasonal cheer today. We are generally aware of this in relation to those in areas of deprivation and conflict, but what about those in our very midst?
For many they will be facing their first Christmas without a loved one and finding the bitter sweet memories of the past difficult to cope with. Others will have loved ones who are ill and unable to share in the festivities in the way that may have been envisaged.
So whatever your own personal or religious interpretation of the day is, please spare a moment to think of those who may be having a hard time physically or emotionally. Let's wish them peace in their hearts and lives and hope that as the New Year approaches they may be comforted by happy memories and find the strength to move forward with their lives.
Personally I always find Christmas is a time when I am conscious that a member of our family is not there to open presents with the rest of us and I recall that he never shared that time with us, which naturally saddens me. Then I look at what I do have, three wonderful children who are rapidly growing up and of whom I can be incredibly proud. They may not remember or never have known their special brother, but all of them are strong advocates for people with disabilities and every one of them has spoken out against discrimination or innaccurate portrayal, even correcting teachers.
How can I be anything but thankful for the gift Daniel gave us all. To quote from a blog I read a month ago:
"Yes, I am thankful for all the wonders associated with down syndrome. Actually, I am more than thankful, I am humbled. Humbled we have this opportunity to be better people."
Here is the link to the blog The Ordinary Life of an Extraordinary Girl
Well that's it folks - wishing you peace and serenity.
Starting tomorrow, my DS version of the Twelve Days of Christmas.