The Twelve Days of Christmas–In Courage

It’s a challenging time of year for lots of folks.

The holidays can be a wonderful time: we take a few days off work, spend them with people we love and don’t get to see very often, eat and drink too much, give and receive gifts, rest, recharge, prepare for the new year.

They can also be tough: we leave work undone, spend days enduring our crazy in-laws (or our own crazy families), eat and drink too much, pretend to be happy with gifts we don’t really want. We spend hours on end shopping for the perfect gadget for Uncle Charlie–when we’re not crazy about spending time with him, and we’re pretty sure he won’t spend nearly the time on our gift we do on his.

There are office Christmas parties, endless runs to the store, emergency trips for cranberry sauce or batteries or presents for the kids to take to yet another school party we didn’t know about.

And, of course, it’s never good enough–someone always comes up with a better gift than we did, Aunt Fergie’s family always looks perfect in their matching sweaters, there’s always a thousand less-fortunate souls we could be helping if we weren’t so busy consuming.

It’s a great time of year to let despair overwhelm us, or to embrace courage and free ourselves from our inner Scrooges.

I’m going to spend the next twelve days exploring how the holidays affect us, and how courage can help us stay sane through the chaos.

Tomorrow, we’ll start with A Partridge in a Pear Tree – Embracing Holiday Awkwardness.

I've been a soldier, a dreamer, a working stiff, a leader. A husband, father, example (good and otherwise), and now a survivor. I write about courage, because courage is what enables us to accomplish the impossible. If you draw breath, I love you. If you love in whatever way seems best to you and want others to love in whatever way seems best to them, I am your ally. If you believe someone is less than you because they do not love the way you do, I oppose you. If you see someone as a threat to be abused or destroyed merely because they do not look like you, or love like you, or worship like you, I am your enemy. I am a joyful and courageous man. And I stand with you who love.