For Christmas, tell someone something specific you appreciate about them.

When my brother finished his PhD, he invited something like 60 people to a celebration, and spent over an hour thoughtfully describing specific individual characteristics he appreciated about each person there. It was as moving as it was unusual.

A year ago today, my brother died in a tragic accident. Today, in his memory, I want to follow his example of intentionally appreciating others’ individual characteristics. Not trying to think of the perfect thing to say. Just something true.

Alec, I miss you. You taught me, over and over, what it looks like in real life to see each person you meet as bearing the Creator’s image and containing unimaginable potential. I’ve never lived up to your example.

But the point is not to wait until a funeral or memorial to appreciate people, so I’m going to go appreciate someone face to face, in real life, while they are still alive. And so make it a Merry (or Happy) Christmas even if you have something to be sad about, as most of us do.

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