Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Me, You or US?

I imagine that most of you are having at least one family gathering for Christmas.  As you look around the room, you know everyone, are related to most, but should that be the case?  I must confess that my host country friends have taught me something over the years about gatherings.  I am ashamed to admit that I have failed at this far too often.

I never think about a family gathering as exactly that, a family 'gathering'.  Meaning, that my family gets together to spend Christmas as a family; only my family.  I don't think about those who don't have family, those that are alone, those who are from other countries, other lands, those who have no one.  Shame on me.  Christmas is the season where we reflect on God sending His son, Emmanuel, God with us.  How could I be so narrow in my focus - on me and mine?

Mexican's are not that way regarding gatherings - be it Christmas, birthdays, or any other celebration.  The more the merrier.  We have been invited to many 'family' gatherings and made to feel welcomed by everyone.  Mexican's are embracing and inclusive by nature.  I don't think we were ever left to ourselves on the holidays while we lived in Chihuahua.  We really and truly had 'family' and we had more than one invite during the holidays.

I want to encourage you to look around you, to really look.  Who needs a place to celebrate the holidays?  Who could benefit from the warmth of your family?  Who do you notice that is "unconnected" and needs to feel like they belong and really need to feel loved?  Could you invite them to your family table?  Or could you plan an event for just such a purpose?

I in no way want to make you feel selfish for enjoying your family.  Nor am I pointing fingers at you, as I have already confessed that this is something I have failed miserably at over the years.  I am so thankful for my 'Latin ' family who open their homes and their families to us.  They are constantly teaching me about life and loving others.  And, I what to share with you what I am learning, thinking we can all learn how to be more inclusive. May you experience much 'gathering' this Christmas!

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