Thursday, December 20, 2007

Five Holiday Gifts from That Johnson Boy

Today's blog is
dedicated to my
blue-eyed soul brother
and beloved brother-in-law,
Edwin Dearlove.

Your eyes gave hint of a kind heart.
Your smile simply confirmed it.

Happy Holidays! 'Tis the season for gift-giving and That Johnson Boy has five incredible gifts for you. In fact, these five will even make the Grinch smile! They pack well, won't cost you one copper penny ($0.00), yet are absolutely, positively, priceless! Shall we begin?

Gift #1 - Live In The Moment - This past week, I traveled to South Beach to celebrate my brother's 50th birthday. In reality, this year marked his 51st birthday. However, December 2006 found us all too busy, too strapped, too certain that we could recapture this special moment at a later date. In retrospect, allow me to add "too stupid" to the list.

A visit to his favorite 5-star restaurant was a complete disaster. How bad? More than once I scanned the room to see if we were being "PUNKED" (a/k/a Candid Camera moment for the 50 & over crew). It took me two days to get over the disappointment of the evening. But, on the plane ride home, the metaphoric brilliance of the restaurant hit me.

The restaurant is definitely 5-Star. The food? Exquisite. The service? Heavenly. But, you can't show up late - not just late but 365 days late - and expect an incredible evening. Fifty years earlier, God reserved the perfect time and place. Yet, in our arrogance we glanced at our blackberrys and elected to tinker with time. Guess what? Time won, we lost.

My friends, the gift of "Living In The Moment" is priceless. Practice living in the moment until it comes naturally. This holiday season, there is always someone else to see, some place else to go. But the words of our Grandmothers ring true: "Still yourself, child" and live in the moment. Embrace this gift and you'll unlock a special bonus gift more precious than silver and gold. It is the gift of cherished memories.

Gift #2 - The Gift of Touch - For all of the warm images we associate with the Holiday season, the truth is for many it is the loneliest time of the year. The gift of Touch warms like no fireplace could, and in fact, might actually save a life. Reach out and call that friend, family member, co-worker and let the warmth of your spirit shine through. Save the "I was worried about you speech" for another day. Same with the "wish you were here." This gift is about living in the here and now, and letting the love of your heart flow through. Ya feel me?

Give #3 The Gift of Tolerance - Each of us are unique. We are unique in our approach to life, how we love, laugh, play, work, process, pray, dream and the list goes on and on. Your children will never raise their children like you. Your sister will never prepare her collard greens the way you prepare your world famous greens. Your brother's outlook on life will never be yours. As my family prepare to say goodbye to our loved one, Edwin Dearlove, one thing is certain. None of us - not one of us - will approach the grief process the same. But, the gift of tolerance allows us to respect, and perhaps even appreciate, the difference in our approach. The gift of tolerance is like a welcomed sigh of relief. It just feels so good through and through.

Gift #4 - The Gift of Forgiveness - I know what you're thinking... that's an Easter gift, right? Perhaps. But, consider this - the essence of forgiveness was born on Christmas Day. What better way to inject Christ back into the commercialized Christmas? In the spirit of The Christ, let's give the gift of forgiveness. Not even the magical glow of a child on Christmas morning can compare to the glow of forgiveness. Trust me, no box and ribbon can contain it!

Give #5 - Living Life To The Fullest - On December 25th, we will celebrate the birth of Jesus, The Christ. He is the ultimate gift - God's gift to mankind. In the spirit of this day, let us embrace God's gift and live life to the fullest. I know you already know this, but it bears repeating: God has some incredible plans for you. He's already opened the right doors and made reservations with the right people. Every gift, talent and "I didn't know I could do that-ism" has been divinely implanted in your DNA. Don't worry that you don't see them now. They're on a time-release formula, and just like God, they'll always show up right on time! It's the season of renewal and birthing greatness. It's the season to live your life to the fullest. Embrace Gift #5. Go 'head... I dare you!

Happy Holidays from That Johnson Boy!

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