We recently had the first snowfall of the year and it was the picture of perfection. A glistening white blanket that covered the streets and lawns. Not a blemish in site.

I could just hold my breath and watch in wonder.

If it stayed that way forever it would make me happy,

The perfectly captured view from my window.

But it doesn’t last. Fresh fallen snow eventually turns a little brown, it gets full of rocks and sand and becomes a muddy mess all over the floor. You wonder what you ever loved about it in the first place as you try to keep the slippery hallways under control.  

And I think a little about life, and how I sometimes wish it were perfect too. Like the postcard picture outside my window.

But it’s not.

The rocks and the sand, it’s all there. Sometimes a bigger mess than even imagined. 

And this time of year, when so many are rejoicing and preparing – there are equal who are retreating and hurting.

And I think of those hearts in a muddy mess, even my own at times. In the middle of it all, the word that keeps coming back to me in this season, is an unusual one. It’s not what I usually think about at Christmas, but I can’t get it out of my thoughts. It’s following me around, wherever I go. 


One day it came out another way in my mind. 


I think of all the gifts of the season. And I think that the giving and receiving of forgiveness is one that we forget about.

Maybe we all need to give it. 

In some way. 

You know, and I know. We all know. The pangs, the physical reaction that actually hurts when we are in our deep places and heart spaces. The cries in the night. We long to be rid of it all, but it just seems so hard. 

Forgiveness IS hard. It’s easier to hold on.

Grudges don’t make good gifts.

Bitterness loves to dig deep. 

Maybe it time to give ourselves a gift.

To let go of the wrongs against us.

The things we hold that bring us pain. 

Even if we’re never been asked, granted or considered.

Even if we are in the wrong, even if we are not.

That’s why forgiveness is a gift. 

You give it without expecting anything in return.

Sorry may never come and explanations never uttered but the releasing that washes over when you let go, is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

Forgiveness brings freedom.

Which was the ultimate purpose of the gift of the first Christmas.

So this Christmas, forgive yourself of the things that you hold onto that are hard to let go. Forgive those who have hurt you, even if they never ask or admit their wrongs. Seek forgiveness if you need to make things right. 

Given, received and offered.

Life’s never going to be perfect, there’s always going to be mess.

But look for the moment of freshly fallen snow.

Let forgiveness cover you like a blanket.

Let it rest on your life. 

A gift to yourself this season.