Each year, as the Christmas season is upon us, the challenge for many, is to try to carry on despite the absence of a loved one. The feeling of separation or loss is greatly magnified during this period that is supposed to be enjoyed together with those you love.

We hear talk of “Christmas Spirit,” but do we really put it into practice? Reaching out to someone who might otherwise be alone at this time of the holidays can be one of the greatest gifts they will ever receive, and it does not cost a penny. Pay a visit to a nursing home, a senior center, or a hospital to bring a simple message that just says, “you are not forgotten.”

Christmas memories are meant to be the beautiful sight of watching the smile of a little child as they scamper down the stairs to discover that Santa had visited overnight leaving some neatly wrapped presents under the tree. It should be the joy of gathering around the piano with friends and family singing the carols that have been the sounds of the season throughout our lives. It should be that special moment when handing over that special gift for that special person in your life, whether it be your first true love, or your life partner who is deserving of all that you can give them.

For many, these memories and feelings are sometimes painful to recall, when facing Christmas without that someone special. In the lyrics of the song “Doesn’t Seem Like Christmas Without You,” written by my dear friend Joy Smith, we understand that life goes on despite our losses and separations. However, our challenge is to make a genuine effort to reach out beyond the comfort zone of our circle of family and friends and touch someone’s heart with a random act of Christmas kindness. A smile, a hug or even just a gentle touch can be the greatest gift that you might ever give.

Doesn’t Seem Like Christmas Without You
~Joy Smith

Christmas time is here again
The Season’s full of cheer again
I should be merry, but I’m blue…
Doesn’t seem like Christmas without you.

Snow is falling down again
And Santa’s back in town again
But gifts, should be exchanged by two
Doesn’t seem like Christmas without you.

‘Tis the season to be jolly
But what’s a holiday for one?
Can’t help feeling melancholy
When you’re not there to share the fun.

Christmas bells will ring again
And carolers will sing again
My dreams will have to see me through
Doesn’t seem like Christmas without you.

As we spread the true meaning of Christmas by remembering the birth of the Christ child in Bethlehem, may we commit to share another precious gift with the world by exchanging a smile and a loving word with one person, one soul at a time.

To quote a classic phrase from another seasonal favorite, ’The Night Before Christmas,” the traditional poem by Clement C. Moore, I share my Christmas wish to say, “Happy Christmas to all… and to all, a good night.”