December 2006


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December 2006




 It’s December......again. For some the thought of shopping, cooking, eating, giving, receiving, family and friends is exciting and something to look forward to. For others the thought of any of these activities brings an immediate feeling of depression....that time of year is here again.
 Why am I spending the time to write this all out for you when I have obviously said these same things before? I am taking the time to write this because even though some look forward to the holidays, each year the group grows that would just as soon skip the holiday season. I know because I have been there. I am writing this for my friends, Betsy, Margie, Karen, Jim and Geordina, Gladys and Jerry, Orv and Jean, Randy and Lauren, George and Linda, and hundreds of others who will be facing this holiday season without a loved one who has always been there before. I want to pass on some experienced advice to these friends:
 It is OK to change your “traditions” this year.
 Your goal the first year should simply be to survive the holidays.
 Let your family know what traditions you want to keep and what you want to skip.
 Try some new things this year.
 Have a friend do your shopping for you or shop via mail catalogs.
 Skip Christmas cards if the task seems overwhelming or send out a simple notice of your loved one’s death.
 Be good to yourself.
 Take time to rest.
 I also have some thoughts for those who are looking forward to the holidays. Ask God to bring to your mind someone who is dreading this holiday season. Ask God to show you what you can do to help them survive the holidays. The suggestions and ideas that work for you will vary, but here are a few ideas.
 Take them some holiday goodies; they most likely will not have the energy to bake anything for themselves.
 Send them a special card that lets them know you are thinking of them. I call these kinds of cards, “To comfort you at Christmas” cards.
 Offer to take their children shopping or offer to take them shopping or do their shopping for them. All of the Christmas music and decorations may be overwhelming to them.
 Offer to go to church with them. Attending Christmas services may be hard for them. The timing may be right for you to tell them of the Christ of Christmas and the joy He can bring to a heavy heart.
 Remember those who are dealing with an “old” grief. It is always nice to know that others remember our loved one.
 I have something that I do for the newly bereaved each year. All year long, when someone dies, I write their name in the back of my prayer journal. Then at the holiday season, I buy lovely picture ornaments that are generally available in large department stores or Christmas shops. I insert a picture of their loved one, send a personalized card with it, and let them know their loss is not forgotten. If I don’t happen to have a picture of the deceased person, I include simple instructions in my card suggesting that a picture be inserted and the gift be used as a tree ornament.
 Just this week I received an e-mail from a reader of Roses In December. He said that each year at Christmas time since 1987 he and his wife have given the book and a dozen roses to a bereaved family. What a beautiful act of kindness.
 Did you know that The Compassionate Friends sponsors a World-Wide Candle Lighting ceremony every year? All you need to do is light a candle in memory of a loved one at 7:00 pm your time on the second Sunday of December which is December 10 this year. Let the candle burn for one hour. Invite a recently bereaved friend to join you. You will be joining hundreds of thousands as they remember, too.
 Now for the local news!
 We are doing fine and have adjusted to being “residents” of South Dakota. We are also adjusting to new doctors and new health insurance. I went through a sleep test at a sleep clinic recently and now I think I am done with testing for this year. I just received a personal phone call from my new doctor in Indianapolis. That call was much appreciated. My pulmonary and heart stress tests turned out just fine. I find it amazing that I can be in such great health and feel so dumpy.
 We spent Thanksgiving with Matt and family, and left Missouri on November 25. Kate was home from college and we were happy to see her again since our last visit was very short.
 We plan to arrive in Tombstone on Saturday, December 2, and will be in Rocklin with Mike, Mellyn, and Christian for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We will then return to Tombstone until about the 9th of January when we will drive our home on wheels to Morro Bay, CA for two months.
 We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wise Men Still Seek Him!
May your holidays be gentle and your New Year peaceful!
Nate, Kate, Caleb, and Grandpa and Grammie Heavilin

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This page was last updated 12/04/06 ©Copyright 2002-2006 Marilyn Willett Heavilin