Wake Up Call! – Filling Empty Stockings?


What do empty Christmas stockings invite you to fill them with?

I’ve not stopped thinking about the 20 empty Christmas stockings of the children killed in Newtown. My tears of grief could easily join yours in overflowing those stockings. My reactions are bundled together with expectation about the holidays and the children who will be part of our celebration.

I could choose to be present only to my grief but I know that grief invites me to new insight and awareness beyond myself.

My appreciation for the children who are part of my life has a new liveliness to it. My thankfulness for their lives reveals how easily I can take people for granted.

The result is a shift in how I approach this holiday. A slaughter of the innocents is real but so is a richly textured thankful appreciation for others. They co-exist, inviting me to ask how the choices I make will fill the little stockings with gifts of being present, of love and of delighting in each moment that precariousness makes more precious.


This holiday:

  • Imagine the gift of yourself that you will fill an empty stocking with

  • Allow the competing truths of grief and appreciative thankfulness to inform you

  • Be present with an open heart to those around you

Notice how the grainy texture of life invites you to be a life-bearer.

Share your story of filling an empty stocking here.

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©2012 Robert V. Taylor

Written by Robert Taylor