When I was a boy the one Christmas present me and my brothers never wanted but always got was socks. Every year under the tree there would be a package of thick, white tube socks for each of us. They were always quickly stuffed in a drawer and forgotten about while we played with our real presents and enjoyed Christmas day.
In time, however, the lights were taken down, the Christmas tree was thrown out, and only Winter was left. It was during the cold, dark, long, snowy Winter months that those socks began to take on a new importance. On those bitter, windy mornings in January me and my brothers would be huddled by the stove in my Nana’s drafty old house hopping around while we pulled on those thick socks to warm our icy toes. Nothing felt better than feeling them thaw our frozen feet. It was then that I was thankful to Mom and Dad for spending what little money they had on not just what we wanted but also on what we needed.
As I sit here 40 years in the future on a cold, Winter’s day with warm socks on my feet I can still smile back on those childhood days so full of simple joys. I realize too that my Mom and Dad provided not just warm socks for my feet but warm socks for my soul as well. In this often cold world they showed me the warmth of love. They showed me that giving is better than getting. They showed me that hard work can fill the heart as well as the wallet. They showed me that laughter and smiles are more valuable than stocks and bonds. They showed me that what is important isn’t what you accumulate in this world but what you take with you into the next.
May all of your days be full of warm socks and warm hearts. May they be full of smiles, laughter, kindness, goodness, peace and joy. May they be full of God’s love for you and your love for others. May they feel like Summer even in the midst of Winter.