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This Christmas will be different. We won’t be gathering at my mother’s to have dinner and laugh and unwrap presents and throw wrapping paper at each other and stick bow’s on each other’s heads. Instead, we’ll be hanging out in my mom’s hospital room. My grandfather won’t be there. My sisters and nephews and niece won’t be there. It’ll just be me and David and MoC and no turkey or stuffing and probably no game of stick the bow on the idiot. But we’ll be together and MoC won’t be in there forever and it will be okay – just different.

A local radio morning show does something they call Hope for the Holidays. People who need a little help write the station, the DJ reads the letter on the air and within 3 minutes people get Christmas for their little kids, a car repaired, a bill paid, or even a job. It is simply amazing. And every time I hear someone’s story, I’m reminded again of how fortunate I am. Listen to one of the calls, if you have time.

Then I read this over at The Blogess. Go read it. It’s probably too late to help now and I wish I’d seen this last week, but it made me cry this morning, in all the good ways. What Jenny started is … I don’t have words for it. The reaction was simply stunning. It makes me realize that I live in an incredible world filled with people who fight their own battles every day, but still have enough hope and compassion to reach out to others.

This season is hard for a lot of people. It has never been my favorite holiday. But this year … this is the year when I actually have reason to be bummed out, but I’m not. This is the year when I could look around and tell the Universe it sucks, but I won’t. This year wasn’t about me at all … but I’m the one who benefited from the changes.

This Christmas will be different – because I am.