This year, it may be impossible to host a big gathering for distant friends and relatives. But don’t forget to let them know you’re thinking of them, and that “family” doesn’t just mean blood relations, as Mario from Indiana reminded us:
"I grew up in Mexico in an orphanage with 40 brothers and sisters. My mom and dad, as we called them, were missionaries for 28 years. When we celebrated Christmas, we had toys and clothing, but the best gift was that mom cooked breakfast for each child according to what we wanted to eat on Christmas day.
When I asked mom why she did that, she said, "This is my gift for you guys.... Something I can do with my own hands for you." I love my mom and dad for giving us love when our real parents didn't."
Thanks, Mario, for that great reminder that it's important at the holidays also to remember and include the people who are like family to us. Even if you can’t invite them to your home this year, a card or a phone call could mean the world to someone who’s feeling lonely and forgotten.