Coaching the Christmas Spirit


By: Pam Bradley, Ed.D

This year is different somehow.  The gifts are wrapped.  Bright green, red and gold ornaments decorate the tree.  Santa letters to grandchildren have been written.  “Joy to the World!” reverberates through the house.  Still, there’s this small nagging feeling in the bottom of my heart.  Something is missing. 

As a recently retired school principal, I established a new journey and career just 11 months ago.   I completed the coursework and testing to become a certified Life, Leadership and Wellness Coach as well as Educational Consultant.  I had jobs which kept me busier than ever, traveling the states to work with 12 different schools!  I had flexibility to spend time with my hubby and kiddos still at home, balancing travel to visit my older children as well as my precious grandchildren. 

So what could be missing?!   I sipped my morning coffee and tapped my fingers on the table.  Then I pulled out my journal for quiet time and prayer.  Finally, after three mornings of experiencing this same routine, and this sudden void, I determined the culprit.  Success.  I had accomplished my most recent goals.  Now what? 

I laughed in relief.  I HAD accomplished my goals.  I was having to “life-coach” myself. It was time to consider that greater purpose beyond myself.  How was I meant to serve? What corner of the world could I contribute with the menial gifts I had? 

The song Drummer Boy came on just then---as if on cue.  Our finest gifts we bring… the song said My gifts were not fine, but I realized I had something to give.  The phone rang and it was my brother, who just had surgery.  He asked about our sister, who was experiencing her first Christmas alone after a divorce.  Neither had anywhere to go for Christmas dinner.  I looked about my house.  Our downsized home no longer accommodated large dinner crowds and 16 immediate family members were already coming.  Oh well, I thought.  The time to start is now.  The corner to serve is here.  The people that need me are close.

“Sweetie, could you pull the TV trays from the garage, please?  I’ve added two more to our dinner list.”  I called out to my hubby.  He raised his brows and shook his head, overhearing my conversation to my brother. 

“Hey, would you like to come over for Christmas dinner?’  And just like that, the void was gone. 

Pam Bradley, Ed.D is a Life, Leadership & Wellness Coach and an Educational Consultant

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