President’s Blog – December Promises
December brings a hope for all that is good in the world to manifest itself, a hope for joyous days celebrating family and traditions, a hope for peace and love, a hope for happiness for those we love.
December also brings a sense of dread, a sense of failure, a sense of unfulfillment, a sense of regret.
December brings a celebration of my birth, a reminder of the days remaining, of the days spent, of the accomplishments, of the failures.
December always brings hope for me and reminds me of the generous spirit of people I know and people I have yet to meet; it shows a promise of all that is good and all that is holy, and somehow, December brings a remorse for the goals not achieved, a lamentation that the gifts given were not the ones wanted, a despair that the world continues without positive change.
American culture has forced upon our society a fantasy of December, which we greedily gobble up from mid-October through the end of the year. This fantasy encompasses snowfall across the country, happy families singing around pianos, new vehicles in drive ways as gifts, love found on exotic adventures.
This fantasy dictates that we perform superhuman feats in decorating, in gift giving, in food preparation, in event participation, and if we do not excel in these feats, then somehow we have failed December.
For many, the December fantasy overwhelms them; their lives do not reflect the candy cane perfection required by our culture. Snow does not fall across the country, so how can it possibly be Christmas? Families fight, and there are no pianos in the background. Driveways lay empty of the luxury cars promised, and the only trip taken is to the dollar store down the road to purchase gifts.
My hope for all reading this includes your finding balance during December. Do not let December lull you into the fantasies it spins. Enjoy the things that make you happy, reflect on joyous memories, forgive those who need forgiven, spend time with those you love and those who make you happy. Most of all, find time for reflection and for looking to the future, time for reading and relaxing, time for walking and for napping, and time for whatever makes you happy.
Thank you to all who help make this world a better place for friends, neighbors and family members in their daily times of need. Your support of the United Way of Southwest Alabama amazes me and gives me confidence in humankind.
Your gifts change lives. Your gifts save lives.
This is the real promise of December.