Years ago we were watching the Tonight Show with the late Johnny Carson. His sidekick, Ed McMahon, who passed away in 2009, made a comment that was likely offhanded but stuck with me throughout the years. "Take care of the people who take care of you."
McMahon, who fell on tough times in his later years, was saying to Carson that it's important to remember people throughout the year but especially at Christmas. These are the individuals who make life possible. From those who deliver our newspaper in the early hours of the day (we still get the paper each morning) to the mechanics who keep the car running well. To doctors and nurses. To those who repair the A/C and fix the roof. Some you know well. They are part of the family. Others are anonymous. All prove invaluable.
Make a list and see just how many individuals make life possible in a 12 month period. If you are a frequent traveler this might include housekeepers, front desk and bell staff.
In better times McMahon was able to do more than in later years. But his point made long ago on a late-night television program is well-taken. It's hard to make it through a single year, let alone a lifetime, without help from countless others who move in and out of our lives--at just the right time.
I heard this while in college and it took some time for the idea to settle in my own heart and mind.
Finally, I decided an intentional expression of gratitude should be part of the holiday celebrations. To this end I changed my Christmas card list from a perfunctory tradition to a communication of "thanksgiving."
I want to convey appreciation during the year, but especially now.
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