Hello to my grandchildren and Merry Christmas.
One of you of just around the corner, one a few miles away and several of you a long way away from me in the frozen north. I love each of you and I have faith in God that each of you are of good health and are protected.
It is almost Christmas morning and I truly hope each of you enjoy your celebration of the day. Some of you are still young and have no realization other than wow, I'm getting stuff. Some of you older ones may be developing an appreciation of family along with wow, I'm getting stuff. One of you is excited by the box and paper.
I am not a man of wealth. I have no treasure to bestow upon you other than a small token of what has become a modern interpretation of the holiday season. I will confess to you that yes; I have attempted to present to each, something purchased. However, I want to say to each of you that that, is merely a display of a holiday that comes at the end of the year. I also want to pass along a little appreciation of and a personal belief in the celebration of the birth of Christ. Christmas.
I will leave it to your parents and your own maturity and growth in life to become acquainted with and develop a 'religious' identity. That children, is for your mom and dad to nurture in your youth and for you to discover as you reach an age of understanding and acceptance. It is important for your grandfather to express to you that I am a Christian. Beyond that, it is truly between you and God.
That said, I wish to give you each the gift of what I hope for and wish to share with you on this special observance. No, the baby Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th. No one really knows. It is a day to stop and realize just that he was born. We have gone through a lot of manifestations to this point; mostly about the giving is pretty universal. So, I wish to give each of you something.
The first thing I wish to give each of you is my Love. Children are a wonderful thing. But you my grandchildren are a most precious gift. I love each of you. No demands to be anyone other than who you are.
I would like to give you curiosity. No matter in which direction you are traveling in your life; grab it, take a hold of it. See what it's about. Consume life, do not be consumed by it.
I give you the desire to have a proper education. Demand reading, writing and arithmetic no matter what level of education you obtain or desire. You have to want and work for it. Schooling, your education, is important. Do not squander it or assume it's a right you have. You have to gather it, you have to gather everything you can, then peruse what is going to benefit you. I submit that you work hard on reading, writing and arithmetic. If your mind is grounded in these, all other things of interest should come easy. No, not very fun, but trust your grandfather. It is important.
I would like to give you compassion. That is a reflection of what I believe this day is a celebration of. At least a long time ago it was. It's not about a race car, nor a doll house. It is about how you feel about your brother, your sister, your friends and family. These feelings will change over time, wax and wane with distance; just never take any living thing for granted. We, both you and I and everyone are here to help each other. Strive to do so without boasting or becoming demanding.
I want each of you to have humble self worth. You are important. Never let anyone take from you your self esteem. As you get older and understand these words and there meaning, remember that your grandfather wanted you to keep your importance utmost in your mind as you grow and develop. Do not give yourself away. You will understand this with age. Just never think that you are not important. You are important and special.
I give you a little bit of humor. Life can be hard and I personally believe that you will face horrible things I could never anticipate. Remember to stop for a second and know its OK to laugh WITH. Just never laugh AT. Your world can be funny and that's a good thing to observe and embrace.
I give you strength. Every day, every step of the way, you're going to need strength. Some days you're going to cry and feel like letting go and not face tomorrow. You have to find a way to get up, dust yourself off and continue. No matter what you think in that moment, the sun will rise tomorrow, you can and must continue.
It's OK to cry. I do!
It's OK to worry. Just do so in small amounts.
Try not to hate, once you get to my age; you'll realize that it was a waste of time.
Take care of your body and your health. I did not; learn from my mistake. Be smart, your body is a temple, respect it.
I give you goals. Set them. They don't have to be big or long term. Just set goals and get use to obtaining them. You will adjust them with maturity.
Take the time to look around you every day. Learn to discover details around you. It's even OK to write them down. The color of a flower in your yard or along the road will slip your memory as you age. If you write down what's important to you, you will be able to clearly look back in your old age. It will be important. This looking will be different for each of you. That's OK.
Share things and don't get upset. Give is an important word. Being honest and truthful is very important and will make your way through life easier. Tolerance of others is a good thing.
Well, I have blathered enough and I could go on; but I will not go on much more. I just want you to know that Christmas isn't a holiday season. It's a cerebration of a birth. I challenge each of you to discover the birth of who and why that birth was important. When you discover that true meaning of Christmas, and I hope and pray you will; know that the gift waiting for you there is worth more than anything I could ever give. I just hope and pray that these things will help you along your journey.