Being Thankful and Mindful
Be Mindful – the Holidays are “the heavy season” for some…
Ah, we have survived the first weekend of the holiday season. Most of us ate too much, shopped too much, and watched too much football (protests from my sweetheart notwithstanding that “there’s no such thing as TOO MUCH football!”) If you went to your family’s home, you spent time with people you loved and tried really hard to love some of the people you were spending time with. As Johnny Carson once noted, “We visit family during the holidays to remember why we live so far away from them…”
There IS another side to the Holidays, though. As we move forward towards Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Festivus, let’s be thankful for what we have while being mindful that not everyone finds this time of year wonderful.
Dad was a pastor and always called the Holidays “the Heavy Season.” Every year his calendar was packed with those struggling with pain and loss that became more heightened in comparison to the frivolity bursting from every radio and TV.
It’s not that we shouldn’t celebrate. It’s that not everyone is in a “happy happy happy” frame of mind. If you greet someone with a hearty, “Happy Holidays!!” and they don’t return the enthusiasm, just bless them and let them be. If you have friends who have lost someone this year, or who have had a financial or health setback, see if there’s something you can do within your means to assist. You can’t “fix” loss, but you can lend a hand, a shoulder, or some of that green stuff.
We had a heartbreaking event on Thanksgiving morning as we learned of the fire that consumed a landmark in Cave Creek, AZ. Our beloved gathering place, historical museum, Friday Night Fish Fry hangout and favorite place to dance, The Buffalo Chip Saloon, burned to the ground by an arsonist. Treasured displays of cowpokes past, autographed boots and hats, artwork and memorials enshrined on the walls and ceilings of this 65 year old tribute to the Old West turned to ashes. With it, the jobs of 160 people disappeared, some supporting entire families. The whole community struggled to find something to be thankful for that morning.
Then we all came together. Parkway Bank set up a donation account for the employees. Neighbor businesses put on fundraisers. Leads started coming in to help the sheriff find the arsonist. People set aside differences and got to work.
While there’s an overarching sense of loss at the intentional destruction of this beloved institution, we are thankful no one was hurt and mindful of the needs of those who lost their jobs and livelihood… temporarily. Larry Wendt has said he will rebuild. We will be with him all the way.
Keep your wits about you this holiday season and remember what it’s really about. Take care of each other. Be mindful of those in situations that are different from yours. Always be thankful for what you have and for what you don’t have…
And please keep the families of the Buffalo Chip in your prayers.