(Dec. 26)--Our family got together for Christmas. It is always fun to get together to play games, with some watching TV, which is often football (or this year, Thunder basketball), and all of us eating more than we should. I feel sorry for those that do not have that kind of relationship with other family members so they can get together and enjoy it. Don't get me wrong; we have had our share of disagreements. Most of the time jealousy is the first thing that starts trouble in a family. And secondly it is too much pride to try to heal a relationship. You are not going to agree on everything. And most everything looks different from the other one's angle. If you have hostility in your family or with other friends, I challenge you to put your pride aside and confront them in person or in a letter. You may have to say, "I am sorry," even though you know in your own mind that you were not at fault. Life is too short to not do that. You may be surprised by taking only a small step in that direction that it may be the start of a new relationship. And if they refuse then you know in your own heart that at least you tried. If you do not have family or friends to get together with, then instead of feeling sorry for yourself make new friends. If you will concentrate on others instead of yourself, you will be a lot happier.
This year for Christmas the younger kids still exchanged gifts. But the rest of us instead bought a gift for someone very poor or someone struggling for whatever reason. Our whole family liked this a lot better as it was very rewarding to see a big smile on these kids' faces. Our family is fairly large but we delivered several bicycles. Others took beef to a few houses and delivered cookies to anyone who had lost their mate this past year and other elderly people as well. We were also able to buy a sports letter jacket for a high school player being raised by his grandmother and would not be able to ever get one. The coach said he was so proud when he was being measured for his letter jacket. Also helped his brother buy a class ring, which he would probably never get. I do not tell you this for any reason except that this might be a tradition that your family would like to start. When we got together then each family member told what they did to put a smile on someone else's face this Christmas. All of us agreed this is one tradition we want to continue. I hope you had a great Christmas and I hope this year will be even better.
Editor's note: Jerry Nine, Woodward, Okla., is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family's ranch near Laverne, Okla.
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