The other day, I was watching Little House on the Prairie, which usually provokes tears in me. If Pa is crying, so am I, and Pa is always crying. This particular episode focused on the Christmas when the Ingalls family was making their way across the prairie, dirt poor, with practically nothing to their name. Ma was concerned about hardly having enough for the children, and kept stalling on gift opening, mainly because there were no gifts to open. In the midst of the Winter storm sweeping across the midwest, they heard a knock at the door. It was their dear friend, Mr. Isaiah Edwards, frozen half to death and carrying a big bag!
Within the bag were gifts for the children--and they weren't iPADs or fancy new dresses, they were tin cups-yes tin cups, and Mary and Laura were so excited to each have their own cup so they didn't have to share one cup anymore.
We have sure come a long way since tin cups.
It's a blessing to be able to give good gifts, but this year, I hope we can remember that it's not the quantity of our gifts that matter, but the quality. If we don't get that apple watch or that diamond ring we were expecting, let's keep a heart enormously full of gratitude. If our kids don't give the reaction we were hoping for, let's remain incredibly thankful. At Christmas, we have a host of opportunities to be disappointed, and conversely, a host of opportunities to be filled with wonder, even if all we get is a tin cup.
I don't know what this has to with health, but a sense of gratitude can't help but spill over into our physical bodies, revitalizing us and strengthening us for the year ahead.