It’s not what’s under the tree that matters.

Christmas is such a special time of year; the lights, presents, giving, family time, and most of all the Birth of Christ. We gather with our families and friends to reminisce and celebrate this amazing time of year. However, we forget there are so many grieving or alone. Christmas time is usually a time of joy, love, and laughter but that thrill for some is taken away due to death, illnesses, or other obstacles life throws their way. I have experienced firsthand holiday grief.

Growing up, Christmas was such a special time to my family. My grandma Elaine loved nothing more than for all of her children and grandchildren to be under the same roof with the roar of laughter, the smell of her Christmas dinner, and the blessings God had given us throughout the year. We always read the Christmas story and prayed to God with thankful hearts for the mercy and love He had given our family. Never in a million years did I ever think or realize all of the bliss could one day change. One day there would no longer be Christmas family dinner at Grandma’s, laughter, reading of the Christmas story, or simply the hugs she would embrace us all in upon arrival at her door.

Life is so precious and short. One day everything is flowing on track and the next it is in complete shambles. We have to remember to never take one second for granted because we are not guaranteed the next. My Grandma lived for the moment. She taught me to live with a giving and grateful heart. I have lived my life (to the best of my ability) with a caring heart, always give with no expectation of something in return, and love with everything in me.

Christmas for me is a time to be thankful for the birth of Christ, family, and the ability to give to families in need. Many children wake up Christmas morning with no gifts from Santa, no parents, and for some… no meal. Over the last few years Nick and I have adopted families in need instead of giving gifts to each other. There is no better feeling than knowing a child somewhere, who originally wouldn’t have Christmas, will be able to open gifts and experience the joy and thrill of what’s inside.

Many of us quickly forget how blessed we are. We have a roof over our head, food on the table, presents under the tree, cars to drive, children to love, and the list goes on. However, we are also quick to forget that many are grieving the loss of a love one, not able to provide for a family, or wondering where the next meal will come from. This Christmas I hope more of us remember to cherish the moments we are given no matter what the circumstance. Our life compared to so many are better than most of us deserve.

THE WORD gave life to everything that was created, & HIS LIFE brought light TO EVERYONE.  

JOHN 1:4

Published by Lacie

Lacie Ross is the director for the Miss Hahira Honeybee Pageant held annually in Hahira, Georgia. Among many titles, Lacie was Miss Georgia United States 2013 and Miss Georgia South 2013 where she went on to place in the top 15 at Miss Georgia USA. She has judged, directed, and competed in multiple pageants. Lacie even appeared on TLC’s “Here comes Honey Boo Boo” as a celebrity judge. Mrs. Ross is a graduate of Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Minor in Human Resources. She also holds an Associates in Science from Georgia Military College. Lacie is very active in the community where she has held positions as a L.A.M.P homeless shelter mentor, Second Harvest of South Georgia spokesperson, team member with the Georgia Special Olympics, ambassador for People Water, committee member for the Hahira Honeybee festival, among many others. She is currently on the board of directors and choreographer for the Miss Georgia South Pageant. Lacie is happily married to her husband, Nick, who she met on an airplane coming home from Miss United States. The Rosses have three beautiful children, Atticus, Ander, and Addleigh Elaine and reside in Highland, Michigan. A quote by Audrey Hepburn is one Mrs. Ross lives by “As you grow older, you will learn you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

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