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Finding the Joy

Old 12-07-2015, 04:12 PM
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Ann
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Smile Finding the Joy

I am feeling the joy this year and felt like sharing a little here.

This time last year my husband and I both had cancer, he was in the hospital and Christmas was pretty much a non-event. I felt the draw to celebrate in some way but even watching the nurses decorate the Christmas tree at the hospital brought me to tears...tears came uninvited but often last year.

After a difficult year and a few surgeries, we are both doing well, the crisis is over (thank you God) and I am so grateful that this year we get to feel the joy and share it.

During the time last Christmas when my husband was in the hospital, I went to get my hair cut at a little salon behind the hotel where I stayed. The owner there had cut my hair before, and I was lucky he fit me in so close to the special day. As I was about to leave, I asked him if he knew where I could find caramels, Kraft caramels to be exact...my husband had a hankering for them and I couldn't find them anywhere. He told me to wait and came back with a full bag, he usually had them out in a candy dish but because he had Christmas candies there, he had kept the bag out back. He gave me the bag for my husband and he gave me a lovely little turquoise umbrella and wished me a Merry Christmas. That bag of caramels and little umbrella meant the world to me, because the gesture itself brought me joy and were perhaps among the most special Christmas gifts I have ever received. He wanted to give me something and what he gave was so much bigger than the impromptu gifts, he gave his caring and his joy.

Joy doesn't just appear at our doorstep, we have to take a good look around, find it and embrace it. A week ago my little great nephew and my niece and her fiance came for a visit and although the 2 year old was busy and curious and ever moving, I noticed that he was filled with joy at the tree, at the Christmas cards, at the decorative nutcrackers in the window next to the tree, it seemed that every single thing in our place brought him joy and laughter and happiness. In turn, that brought us smiles and joy too, just watching the excitement he felt.

A couple of nights ago the little park next to our condo held a special Tree Lighting night, with live reindeer, toy soldiers on stilts, music and food and Santa himself. After the trees were lit (the entire park was filled with wonderful glowing trees), there were fireworks. My husband and I dressed warmly and went over to see for ourselves how they celebrate in our new neighbourhood and the friendliness of the neighbours, the joy of the children, and the lovely Christmas music provided by live singers and bands all brought a feeling of peace and joy to both of us.

I am "feeling" the joy this year, it's a wonderful feeling that I missed the years I chose not to celebrate Christmas without my son, I missed it last year when we both were so sick, and I hope to find joy in every single Christmas to come

There are so many ways to find joy, a walk or drive with your children to look at the lights, playing Christmas music and singing along, volunteering to help at a hospital, especially with the children there or volunteering to deliver baskets for the Salvation Army...they always need help. It's not about money, or expensive gifts, it's not about anything except just finding the joy and sharing it.

No matter what is happening in your life this year, try to take at least one day and make a point of finding the joy. For yourself, for your children, for the old lady next door or the struggling family down the street. Make cookies and share them. Wrap small gifts, a scarf or mittens, or an angel decoration for somebody's tree...and then give them to someone who isn't expecting anything this year.

I am rambling, I often do, but I wanted to put this out there and hope that at least one person makes the effort, even when they don't feel like it, to reach out and find the joy. It is there and it awaits you, I promise.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Season Greetings to all my dear friends here. I love you all and hope you too find the joy this season brings.

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Old 12-07-2015, 04:48 PM
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I love you too, Ann. God bless you and your husband.
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:00 PM
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Ann, What a beautiful post. I'm going to take your advice to heart, look for and embrace joy and give something to someone, not expecting anything. You've been an inspiration to so many of us here, that love you .
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:00 PM
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Hi Ann, what a beautiful post!

After reading the, I went outside and saw the most amazing sky and thanked God for people like you. Now I can't stop singing Joy to the World. (I know you get "that")

Love you always, LMN
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Old 12-07-2015, 08:30 PM
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Full of wisdom you are...thank you for sharing. It really is the little things. ♡
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Old 12-08-2015, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Ann View Post
It's not about money, or expensive gifts, it's not about anything except just finding the joy and sharing it.
So true.

Thank you for sharing the lovely message. I am happy to hear you and your husband are doing well. Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:34 AM
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Ann
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Thank you all, for the joy you have each brought me with your words and your kindness to all members here.

Find the joy and share it, the spirit of the season is all about this.

Hugs
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