I heard the most touching story this weekend about the moment a daughter realized her mother never had a Christmas stocking to open. For years, her mother had placed three stockings on the mantel - one for each child - but had never included one for herself. It wasn't until becoming a mother herself that this daughter realized she'd failed to gift one of the most important presents to one of the most important people: the gift of gratitude and acknowledgement to her own mother.
This year, the now much-older daughter surprised her mother with 38 red stockings, filled to the brim with letters and jewelry and candy and treats: one for each year she'd gone without a stocking on the mantel. There were tears of joy from the mother, regret from the daughter. Tears that would bond the two for years to come.
Here's to making this one a meaningful Christmas: a holiday of love and forgiveness, compassion and gratitude. A season to celebrate the stockings that hang in our own home - and to acknowledge those that might be missing.
p.s. We'll be taking some time off this holiday season, but be sure to check back next week for some New Year surprises!