We recently went out to dinner to celebrate our December birthdays. We were pleasantly surprised to be able to watch our town Christmas parade. Here you see Santa passing by throwing candy to the crowd. Even though we are well past our childhood years we were thrilled to see the people, the parade, and the beautiful lights. It was a wonderfully charming surprise and a great way to pass the evening. The kids in town had fun waving, and ogling over the lights and floats. They laughed and sang and cheered as the parade passed. 

This is the time of year when we all need to tap into our inner child and remember when anything was possible. Remember when you dreamed and those dreams came true in the form of a toy or a game or the perfect camera. Remember when a day seemed like a week and the holiday cartoons were trusted friends. Remember when cookies and candy canes, holiday meals and midnight snacked were thing you ever ate. Remember when family time meant fun movies, games, eating, laughter and sleeping late. 

And yet not everyone had that kind of childhood or family situation. Too many families are personally, professionally, and financially challenged this time of year. Too many people are lonely, tired, or scared of the future. Too many children dream of a full tummy instead of sugar plums and fairies. Too many people are far away from the ones they love, with no hope of getting home for the holidays. There are valiant men and women serving in our Armed Forces to protect our freedom, and they will be standing guard while we open presents in our pajamas. 

As you celebrate your family holiday traditions, give thanks for the feedom to continue practicing them. Give thanks that mean and women serve to secure our freedom. Give to those in need and give thanks for the blessings you experience everyday. Remember when you believed anything was possible and give a portion of your faith, hope and love to those around you…anything is possible.