The famous quote from the late Maya Angelou should be on the bathroom mirror as soon as the first string of Christmas lights is unstrung.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
But so we are on the same page, let me make sure I illustrate what contributes to the creation of those feelings, OK?
Quick: Tell me what you got for Christmas last year. OK, now tell me what you got for Christmas two years ago? Three? Anybody?
That's my point. Now try this one on:
Who attended Christmas with you last year? What did you do? No, I would like specifics.
OK, now this:
In all the Christmas' past, whom do you remember and why? And how did that make you feel?
See the difference?
Christmas is the best time of year to let your heart run. The spirit of your caring and kindness will be the difference in somebody else's Christmas. The feelings that they glean from your presence are those that will remain in their memories forever. The joy you bring to their hearts will stay with them every time they think of this day.
This is what those you love will remember. The joy of the day you supplied through your love will linger with them forever.
Every Christmas, my aunt made breakfast after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It was the centerpiece of the celebration, and she did this every Christmas of my childhood. It was the most lasting memory throughout the holidays, and when I think of how I was made to feel on Christmas, I will always remember her. Although my aunt died in 1995, I can see her scurry, I can hear her voice, and I when I close my eyes I can feel like I'm seven, or ten, or twelve years old, holding the feeling of her presence close to me.
Be that feeling to somebody this Christmas. This is what they'll remember.