It's that time of the season again when the sounds and smells of the holidays fill the air.
Families make arrangements to get together and enjoy food, cheer and togetherness and store windows are filled with trinkets, toys and gifts in every size, color and price range.
You simply can't wait for the holidays to be here.
But there are those among us who dread the upcoming holiday season. Not because they don't look forward to participating in the holiday cheer, but because finding tomorrow's dinner is a challenge, let alone worrying about how to provide a festive holiday meal for the whole family.
Purchasing shoes and clothing for their children means paying the rent and utilities late, but hoping that the landlord will be understanding so they have a place to sit down and help their children do homework. Hoping that money will come from somewhere so that there will be gifts beneath the tree when the children wake on Christmas morning, or hoping to think of a reason that is good enough to soothe a young child who wonders why Santa didn't visit.
There are those among us who have hit rock bottom not because they aren't honest and hard working people, but because they are playing the hand that life dealt them, doing the best that they can to survive one day at a time. They are playing the game of life and struggling every day to keep their heads above water and to find some magical way to realize a new life.
For those of us who look forward to this holiday season because we are fortunate to have all of the things that we need, take a moment to be kind invite a stranger to dinner, take the time to look up on the street and smile at a passerby and never underestimate the impact that sincerity and genuine interest in fellow humankind might make.
For those of us who are less fortunate this holiday season, we hope that you will be able to smile because of the riches that you do have health, a good mind, kind friends and a community that is willing to embrace you.
But most importantly, take the time to remember that there is no formula that we use to calculate exactly how and when you might be that person on the street.