It is so hard to believe that in just a few days it will be Christmas Eve. We are still in the middle of Hanukkah, too. We are blessed to be in the midst of joyful celebrations. Many religions and people coming together to celebrate the good in each other.
As I'm typing to you this Saturday morning, John has the news on in the background. They are talking about the big toilet paper hunt and the sanitizing wipes we could not get just nine months ago. They are having a little fun, which is very healthy for all of us, especially now.
I guess the word is that many stores are adding signs saying "one per customer" again on some of these necessities. It sounds like things may get a little tough before they get better, but we are on the home stretch.
Thank goodness Santa and Mrs. Claus don't have to worry about all of this. It's that magic of Christmas for the young and everyone else, too. Even a worldwide pandemic can't hold them back.
Around New Hampshire, it seems that they have been much busier than ever before. It also seems that this pandemic has brought many more Santa helpers and elves on the scene that want to join in. I know Santa and Mrs. Claus' message this year is that no one should feel alone this Christmas and this is our mission together.
So far, Santa and Mrs. Claus and all their helpers have been finding new ways to do the things they have been doing for hundreds of years. How great is that? It just goes to prove that we can all learn new things and approaches at any age.
Today, as I'm typing this to you, our dear family member of the heart Dr. Bart Quirinale is celebrating his 87th birthday. He's an inspiration to us all. Every day Bart watches and reads what's happening in the world. He wants me to take an Italian class with him and maybe go to law school someday.
I think that's how Santa looks at the world, too. We never grow up, we just keep on growing, learning and most of all, do our best to bring happiness and goodwill to those around us.
Julie Huss has been following Santa around the state this December. She has one of the biggest hearts I know. Recently, she said to me, "It is so wonderful that Santa is using technology this year." We learned that a fourth-grade class invited Santa and Mrs. Claus to be on their classroom Zoom call as special surprise guests. Modern fire trucks helped them get around towns in the middle of the snowstorm, too. Just goes to prove that we are never too old to learn new ways.
When we bring a smile or even a glimpse of hope of better times ahead to others it helps our hearts to grow healthy and stronger, too. Now I'm thinking of the Grinch. Remember the poor Grinch was so all alone and his heart was very, very small. He stole all of Whoville's presents thinking that would make everyone sad, but he realized the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts. When he found happiness through helping and forgiving others, his tiny heart grew three sizes. (John would say this is a "Sherry-ism," my version of what happened with the Grinch.)
There is something in helping others for us, too, that is for sure. We get what we give in most cases. Even the greatest Grinch we know might just come around if we show a little kindness.
I have been so excited and waiting for this story to share with all of us the most meaningful card we ever received. I know the family that sent it would not want me to tell you their name, but they will be happy that their message might help other hearts, too.
A Christmas wish: May we break down boundaries, tear down walls and build on the foundation of goodness inside each of us. May we look past differences, gain understanding and embrace acceptance. May we reach out to each other rather than resist. May we be better stewards of the earth, protecting, nurturing and replenishing the beauties of nature. May we share our talents, give our time and teach our children. May we hold for the future very tenderly in our hearts and do all we can to build for bright tomorrows. And may we love with our whole hearts, for that's the only way to love.
They included this on a small piece of cardboard inside the card, too:
"This Christmas mend a quarrel, seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest our loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again."
I think they said it all. Maybe we can keep these words locked in our hearts and spread them along, too. Let's try to do our very best to not let anyone feel alone this Christmas. Let's look around our little piece of the world and do a little more for others close to home.
Merry Christmas and thank you for being part of our family of the heart, too.
Sherry Farrell is the Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.