320 days without yelling, 45 days of loving more to go!
Dear Orange Rhinos,
Season’s Greetings! Every December I sit down and write a holiday letter to my family and friends so it only makes sense that I should write one to you since you are like family and friends to me!
Every year I dread writing the letter because it is one more thing to do. Yet, I always enjoy the time to reflect upon the year as I quickly realize what a great year it has been, how blessed I feel despite any of the downs that year. And this year, well, we know it’s been full of downs. It’s had more health scares and stresses than years past. It has actually been one of the hardest adult years I can think of. Alzheimers. Cancer. Epilepsy scares. My personal health concerns. Challenges with the boys. Hurricane Sandy. Newtown. Oh, it has been an emotionally draining year. And it would be so easy to say “let’s just get this year over with and move on to 2013.” But instead, I feel grateful for 2012. I see the beauty that is my children, my friends, my husband, and The Orange Rhino Community. Yes, The Orange Rhino Community.
You all have made the downs of this year feel “okay,” feel manageable. You all gave me a place to be me, free of judgment. You all gave me a place to share my joy, my struggles, my tears. You all have helped me achieve my goal and grow into a different, more loving, calm, happy mom, person. Oh you all have given me the greatest gifts this year. Thank you.
You all have helped me bring more peace to my home, more love to my boys. Thank you. I truly wish I could send you each one of our Christmas cards to show my appreciation, to show you how much I do treasure our community. But alas, I don’t have your addresses. So instead let me share it!
The boys, yes, the boys, demanded that they wear matching orange shirts on Thanksgiving and that mommy and daddy oblige as well. We actually got a fabulous family picture but it is, um, obnoxiously orange! 6 people in orange is a lot. A LOT! But, OH I love it! And I love that the only card I could find that went with orange had the words PEACE & LOVE stamped across the top.
Peace and Love. Perfection. The perfect words to summarize this year.
I wrote in my other letter, “we feel blessed to have found much peace, love, and gratitude in our hearts this year. Sometimes these things are hard to find; MY holiday wish for you is that they find you in abundance today, 2013, and beyond.”
And that is my wish for you as well. And more.
So often when I receive our holiday cards I focus on the pictures. I ooh and aah and think “how adorable” or “oh how I miss them.” Sometimes I look at the words, but mostly I glaze over them. The words, the warm wishes, they are used so often this time of year that they seem a mere add-on; they can be missed. But it is the words that are perhaps more important than the pictures. It is the words, the messages that this world needs; it is the words that WE need, our children need.
And so I wish for you that every single world printed on your holiday cards, whether in bold or cursive, obnoxious orange or gold comes true to you this year, and beyond. I wish for you that amidst the crazy end of the year, the craziness of parenting, that you are able to embrace these words and bring them into your life, because you deserve all of it.
Peace. Love. Joy. Hope. Comfort. Family. Warmth. Happy Everything. Cheer. Blessings. Hugs. Prosperity.
Much Peace & Love,
The Orange Rhino