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Happy Holidays From Us

Don Jessop

Holidays bring joy for some, loneliness for some, and anxiety for some. What they bring for me is gratitude. I often wonder if that's innate in my character, to look for the things that make me feel lucky, or is it trained? I was brought up by folks that encouraged resilience in the face of challenges. Folks that taught gratitude over frustration and building bridges over tearing them down or retreating to solitude. Whether my focus on the positive is innate or trained, I can always point to the fact, I didn't have much to do with it, except that I embraced it. I embraced the idea that life can be challenging and beautiful. I embraced the idea that people can be broken and whole, wrong, and right, all at once. I embraced the idea that a single person is not what they've chosen to show the world but a whole cacophony of ideas, hopes, feelings, wishes, and beautifully crafted stories, and experiences. 

One of the things that the holidays do for me, is remind me to reach out to those around me and tell them how much I care for them. How much they mean to me. How much I think about them and remember the grace they have offered me. First, I write to my mother. She made Christmas for me growing up. Stocking stuffed, special treats, and a pressure free day to enjoy the snow with my brothers. Second, to my father, who gathered us all together just before noon to open our presents and celebrate the joy of giving to people we love. His focus was always on giving, yet he also mastered the art of receiving. He was a gracious man. Third, I reach out to my wife, who makes every Christmas special. Nearly twenty years of working together and celebrating life has brought us to where we are today, just minutes from opening gifts with our daughter, as the sun rises over our home we built together, in the heart of a grand mountain landscape. Fourth, to my daughter, who, bless her heart, knows just how to make someone feel like a million bucks. Every day, she asks for more details about my childhood, parents, friends, life choices, etc. She's so naturally curious and kind. I know she's planned something special this Christmas to bring me back to my own childhood. I hope I can give her the memories that last a lifetime too. 

I want to tell the others in my life as well, my in-laws, friends, clients, colleagues, brothers, and sisters. I want to tell you that you make every day feel like Christmas for me because you make me feel lucky. I don't know how many people get that feeling about the people they are surrounded by, and maybe it's something you have to cultivate, but I feel lucky, blessed, and special. You make me feel that way. Knowing you, sharing life with you, time with you, dreams and goals with you, all makes my life richer. You make my life full and vibrant and important. I'm ever grateful for you.

I even have to thank the folks in my life that push back, the ones that make me grow, the ones that challenge the status quo and pull me out of my comfort zones, making me stumble and get back up. You have a place. You belong. You are part of what makes me, me.  

I suppose it sounds more like a thanksgiving blog post than a Christmas one, but in the spirit of giving, I felt like I should tell you all what you've all given me and be the gracious receiver like my father taught. Without you all, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I wouldn't have the skills, the heart, the desire, the perspective, and the hopes and dreams to make every day a better day. I appreciate you all!

To those who aren't as lucky, those who sit at home, alone during the holidays, my heart goes out to you. I want you to know that I love you. I care. I may not even know you or know you well enough to be in your inner circle, yet I'm compelled to let you know, I believe good things are coming your way. Your future is brighter than you may expect. Life has a way of breaking up what we thought would happen. I've been there. My focus is on the things I'm grateful for, but my life has had its hard turns. Yet, you are resilient too. You are capable and patient, persistent, and powerful, gracious and kind. I have one thing I can offer you all. It's the belief, that God, the universe, the great spirit, Karma, it's all on your side. You too will see how lucky and blessed you are. 

To those who read my blogs regularly... thank you, you inspire me to write.
Happy holidays!

Don Jessop and family

Don Jessop - Blog Welcome

Hi! I'm Don Jessop

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