Just pretend this is last Sunday, so when I say I hope you have a very merry Christmas you won't roll your eyes and wonder what's in my eggnog.
Life got in the way of work - that's why I wasn't here for my usual Sunday-morning chat.
And I wanted to tell you about Milan Macek's project, which I think borders on incredible. He handed out $5 bills to 60 friends and former policy holders and invited them to use it for breakfast at Hy-Vee on Dec. 13. Then he decided to have a drawing, and anyone who showed up for breakfast that day could take part in it.
"If they're there on the day of the drawing, they participate," he told me. "If they're not, they don't."
Since I wasn't around on the 13th and haven't talked to Milan since, I don't know how it went that morning. But he planned to give away a $100 grand prize, four $25 gift certificates and three boxes of chocolates.
He said he was doing this through his Love Corporation, started after his wife, Darlene, died.
"There is a time to reach a peace within each of us," he says. "I have now reached that peace."
One day Milan was working with some thin illustration paper and made a triangle. With a little more work, that triangle became a dove, and that dove became the basis for his dove program. He puts messages in his doves and sends the doves across the country.
"My hope is that the little message contained in the dove will give hope to many who may now feel hopeless and without peace."
That's what he says. Just the thought sends little chills up my arm, for Milan has found, I suspect, the true spirit of Christmas. Through his own bereavement, he has found a way to offer understanding and compassion to those who may be hurting.
I planned to offer ideas to make your own Christmas more meaningful, and Milan's dove program and Love Corporation fit right in with that concept. Even if we're past Christmas, that doesn't mean it's too late. It's never too late to do something nice for someone. It's never too late to offer your time or your money to help some person or group in need.
The easiest way, of course, is to write a check. Donate to a cause you know needs help. Beyond the altruistic, donating now will give you a tax break come tax time, but don't do it for that reason. Do it because you want to help, because you want to be part of the good in this world.
That could be as simple as buying an extra bag of groceries and giving those groceries to the Lord's Cupboard, the Food Pantry or the Salvation Army.
When you're chowing down on Christmas dinner leftovers today, think about those people who may have had a peanut butter sandwich for dinner on the holy day. Or nothing at all. It's hard to believe that, but it's so terribly true. Right here in Dodge, people go to bed hungry.
So, we're past Christmas, but there's a new year coming up. Why not keep the season snug in your heart and do something nice for someone once a month. I'm betting it feels so good, you'll be doing something unexpected, but definitely nice, once a week, and when it's that often, who knows? You may become a giver, a person who gives to others for the sheer joy of giving.
What a wonderful idea.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org