Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It’s Christmas Eve! And yesterday was the eve to Christmas Eve. Yes, that’s silly, and that’s me. Sometimes I can be like a kid, I get so excited in anticipation of things—be it vacations, lottery draws, or Christmas. And yes, it’s about fifty-fifty, how many times I’m disappointed as opposed to how many times I have my expectations fulfilled. But that’s me, too, and at this stage of my life, I’m not going to change.

Since Christmas is the season of love, I wanted to give you some of my thoughts on what love is. I feel as if I have credentials in this area, because I’ve been married for 36 years. Also, I have now published nine different titles and they are all romance books. So, here goes. a choice. Yes, it is. It’s not a magical feeling that looks like pixie dust, it’s not music that sounds like violins. It’s a choice. With romantic love, in the beginning we have distinctive feelings inside us when we meet someone. A flutter, or a stirring, or an outright arousal. That is the natural animal inside us coming to the fore, those nature-born instincts that have allowed our species to survive by setting us on the road to procreation. But the purpose of those flutters is short lived. They don’t stay a fluttering all the time inside us forever after. Some of us are lucky enough that we get those flutters now and then through our years together. But that really is rare. So, love is a choice. You can choose to love your spouse...or not.

What do I mean by that? Well, love is a verb. Yes, it’s a noun but it’s also a verb and verbs, as we all know, are action words. So, love is an action! What kind of action? Well, yes, of course hugs and kisses and other physical expressions qualify. But there are other actions we can take throughout the day that qualify as love.

Offer help with a chore, or space so that a favorite hobby may be pursued. Take young children out for an afternoon to give their frazzled care-giver some much needed peace. Bestow a hug out of the blue, or a flower, or a small gift. Think of something your loved one would really like, and then do it for them.

Years ago, when my beloved first got the job he has now, we lived right close to his place of employment. Our property bordered the Quarry, and he would drive one of the company vehicles up for lunch, especially in the winter. Each day I would have a hot lunch waiting for him, as well as warm and dry clean socks. He would take off his boots, then his socks which would be wet from either perspiration or leaky boots, dry his feet on a towel then slip on those warm socks. His eyes would close and he would sigh...and I knew that I had done a loving thing.

So do loving things for your loved one. a blessing. It’s not just a blessing for the recipient of the love, it’s a blessing for the giver of the love, and in truth for anyone in close proximity to it. When you are a person unafraid to love, you enrich the lives of everyone in your family. I’ve heard it said more than once that if a man wants to give his children a fine gift, he should love their mother—and vice versa. A home filled with love is a home that nurtures every heart within it. A home where the parents are in love with and behave lovingly toward each other is a home that is absent of anger, fights, and resentment. Those negative emotions steal all the oxygen, so that the young ones in the home where they thrive cannot, themselves.

Love.....isn’t, despite what songs may say, free. In fact, love is likely the most expensive commodity we could ever give another, for it requires us to take our eyes off ourselves and place them on someone else. It demands that we leave selfishness behind and take up unlimited generosity. It means putting the needs of your spouse ahead of your own, and the needs of your relationship as a couple ahead of you both. Love is not for the miserly, or the faint of heart.

But if you can pay that price, then love is also the most priceless treasure you will ever possess.

From my family to yours, may you have a blessed and Merry Christmas—and to those of you who celebrate it, a Happy and blessed Chanukah.


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