It’s hard to believe but next Saturday is Christmas, a time when most Americans love to celebrate, usually with gifts, family and food. 

I said in my Thanksgiving column “Never forget, no matter how bad or hard life seems to you there is always someone that has it worst than you do, so be thankful.”

Such will be the case this Christmas. I will call them the forgotten people. Most of the time we are so caught up with our own celebration that we forget there are many that will not have food, family or gifts for Christmas.

Last week we received a letter to Santa from an elderly lady in a local nursing home here in Henderson. In her letter she asked Santa for a teddy bear, a certain type of throw, a pen and paper with stamps and a short list of other things. My staff and I decided to make sure that Santa fulfilled her request.

I do not know the lady but I do know how lonely many nursing home residents become during the holidays because they are usually forgotten. The reason I know this I remember when my dad was in a nursing home most of the residents had no guests visit them on this special day of celebration. 

So my brothers and I decided that we would take a guitar visit my day and sing Christmas songs. It wasn’t long until the hall was filled with residents gathered close to my dad’s door listening as we sung. Even the nursing staff joined them. So after we sang and celebrated we went room to room visiting the residents wishing them a Merry Christmas. Later the nursing staff told my mom they had never seen anything like this at that facility and graciously thanked us.

We didn’t do this for appreciation but I learned a valuable lesson about these forgotten people. So, this was our tradition while my dad was alive and a resident in that nursing home. If you have or know someone in a nursing facility I encourage you to visit them on Christmas Day and even shower them with gifts they will be blessed and so will you.

Another forgotten people on Christmas are those in hospice care with only a short time to live. Usually only the immediate family are the ones that are with them. Such was the case two years ago when my brother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and sent home a few weeks before Christmas to spend his last days at home. My wife Ann, his sister went to visit him and his wife and pulled out their Christmas tree and decorated it and their home. Their entire countenance changed, it seemed to bring them much happiness. We were so moved that we decided to spend Christmas Day at their home rather than ours. Looking back we are so glad we did, he passed away a couple of months later.

This year we found out that his wife, who is a native of Mexico and has no family at all in this country but obtained citizenship several years ago, was going to be alone this Christmas. She is still grieving over the loss of her husband. We decided that we would invite her over to our home to spend Christmas with us since we were planning to stay home this year. I’m not sure who is more excited her or us.

Another forgotten people are our service men and women who are forced to be away from their families in order to protect our country and us as Americans. It can’t be easy on them or their wives and children who will not have their spouses and parents at home this Christmas season. Let’s not forget about our officers, firemen and others that wear badges that will have to work Christmas Day in order that the rest of us can be protected and have a safe holiday.

Last but not least there are another forgotten people, those who will not have a Christmas at all because of circumstance beyond their control. There may not be a Christmas meal on the table or presents from Santa because Mom and Dad have fallen on hard times. Maybe God will put it on your heart to help those less fortunate so that they too may have a Merry Christmas.

I’m sure there are others that will be forgotten but I don’t have the space in this column to mention them. Please forgive me.

One thing my journey in life has taught me, as I have become older, without family Christmas is not the same. Unless we help others have a Merry Christmas we may be missing out on the greatest blessing of the year. 

So during this time of celebration I encourage you to remember the forgotten people this Christmas, it just might be the greatest gift you will receive.

Merry Christmas!

Dan Moore is editor and publisher of The Henderson News. His e-mail address is <publisher@thehendersonnews.com>.© 2021, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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