Christmas Eve Run and My Wishes for You

Christmas Eve this year was meant to be a day spent at home with loved ones.  All I had on my agenda was to go running and to decorate cookies with the kids.  The Major wanted to get some cross country skiing in.

Alas, The Major and I discovered early in the day that we were lacking a few gifts.  This usually happens to us earlier in the week.  At any rate, we both put our outdoor activities on hold and got our errands completed.

When we got home, The Major and I went our separate ways.  He went cross country skiing and I went for a run.

I never know what my run is going be like: physically or mentally.  Today I was feeling extra cautious.  It was later in the day and it was a holiday.  I wanted to get out early to avoid any drivers who may have started their celebrations early.  I chose a route on a road with wide shoulders.  I wore bright colors.  I ran unplugged.  I paid attention to my surroundings.

I was enjoying the Christmas decorations when my mind began to wander.  We have been happily rejoicing in the fact that this year we finally have Island Boy home with us.  We do not know what tomorrow will bring for him.  He seems pretty overwhelmed with the holidays.

He definitely does not understand about gift giving.  For example, The Major gave Island Boy a gift to give his Pre-K teacher.  IB gave the present to Miss L.  Hugs and kisses of thanks were exchanged.  Hours later, when I picked the young prince up, he promptly gathered up the gift to take it home again.  A temper tantrum ensued.  We are keeping my fingers crossed about tomorrow.  We’ve been coaching him frequently over the past few weeks about what to expect.

You see, we have to keep reminding ourselves that the idea of owning possessions is new to this little guy.  The idea of giving gifts is altogether new.

Then my thoughts turned to friends, family and acquaintances.  The friends who are spending their last holiday with mothers, fathers or children.  The friends who have already celebrated their last Christmas with mothers, fathers or children.  The friends who have never had the chance to celebrate with their children.  They who are deployed abroad serving our country.  They who have loved ones who are incarcerated.  They who are in abusive relationships.  They who are all alone this holiday season.

I know these people.  You probably do too.  They might not share with you that they are suffering.  Please take a moment over the next few days to reflect on the people in your lives.  Can you help?  Are there words or actions that you can do to help them through these difficult times?  I will struggle with this myself over the next week and beyond.

I also began to think of you.  I hold you in my heart.  I want you to take a moment to reflect on yourself.  That can be a tall order.  Sometimes we don’t like what we see.  This time of year is a great time for us to make some changes for the better.

I want all of you to be around to celebrate with your loved ones for a long, long time.  Here is what I wish you for a healthy future:

  • Quit smoking.  Find a program.  Find support.  Do it.  I can’t imagine how difficult it will be. It is an addiction I am not familiar with.  You need to find the strength to do it.
  • Cut back on your alcohol consumption.  Yes, I know it is the holiday season.  I know people like to celebrate.  Just cut back a little.  Take time to talk with friends and family without the drink in hand.  Enjoy what life has to offer without the chemical enhancement.  I think you’ll like what you see.  Please, please, please don’t drink and drive.
  • Slow down.  Follow the speed limit.  DON’T TEXT and DRIVE!  Wear your seat belt.  Strap those kids into a car seat.
  • Eat healthy.  Reach for the foods great-great-grandparents would recognize.  Eat more fruits and vegetables.  Drink your water.
  • Watch less TV.  You won’t miss much.
  • Read more.  Fill your mind with good literature.  Read a newspaper.  Read a blog.  Read a magazine. Everyone can find something interesting to read.  Your children imitate you.  Read with your kids!
  • Spend time with your family.  Institute game night.  Go for a nature walk.  Volunteer together.  Go to the library together.  Find a free concert to go to: try your local high school!
  • Write a note to a friend.  A Post-it note to a friend at work counts!  Mail a letter.  Write to a niece or nephew.  Write a love note to your significant other.  Write a thank you not to your parents or, if you are lucky, to your grandparents.
  • Call a friend.  Reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with.
  • Make a difference in a child’s life.  Spend time with your child.  Have them invite a new friend over.  Have them think of someone they know who might not get a lot of invitations to play.  Volunteer at your child’s school.  Become a Big Brother or a Big Sister.  Become a foster parent.  Offer to babysit for a friend.
  • Rescue an animal.
  • Spend less time complaining.  Focus on the positive.
  • Compliment someone!
  • Volunteer.  Find something that you care about and do something about it.  It can be scary at first, but it will be worth it.

Here’s my big one:

  • Get some exercise every day.  I think a big plus would be to do it outside.  You will not believe the difference it can make in your life.

The Major said to me yesterday, “Do you find that on days when you are feeling a little under the weather or have some little ache or pain, that when you get out to run you feel so much better?”  YES, YES and YES!  The Major feels the same way about skiing.

Exercise and those crazy endorphins are indescribably good.  It becomes an addiction.  I want you to feel this way too.  I want you to live longer.  I want you to be around for the loved ones who are in your life now and for those you haven’t met yet.

Please consider taking up some form of exercise RIGHT NOW!  Do it!  Take a walk around the block.  Find a friend to do it with you.  If you can’t, then do it yourself.  You will be so thankful in the long run.  I want that for you.

Happy Holidays, everyone!  Blessings and peace to you.

–Running Girl


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by stacy urick on December 24, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Good gracious woman . . .the last part of this post sounds like you are speaking directly to me. 🙂 Know that you are such a blessing . . .such a gift to so many . . .and I for one am so glad you have reentered my life. Hugs to you all!


  2. Posted by lisa on December 25, 2010 at 1:32 am

    I am blessed to be your sister! Praying IB has a day filled with wonder. You’ve already made my Christmas. Wish we were all together. Happy Happy Christmas!


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