Seek out new holiday friendships

By Debra Whittington

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:1-2

I was preparing to back the car out of the garage when I suddenly saw two sparrows swoop down and land on the edge of the cat’s food bowl. I suppose they thought while the cat is away the birds will play, or as it was in this case, have a feast. They were picky little birds as they flung bits of cat food out of the dish as they searched for the perfect morsel to eat.

As I watched this amusing sight, I noticed another sparrow fly down to join the other two. He didn’t receive a very warm reception as the other two fluttered their wings and pushed him away. At first he was undaunted by such a rude reception as he went around to the other side of the bowl to join in. The other two birds quickly hopped to the other side of the bowl and once again pushed him away before they continued eating.

It broke my heart to watch that poor little bird as he stood to the side and watched the other two eat the last bites of cat food. He watched them fly off and went to inspect the empty bowl before he too flew off.

I jumped out of the car and put more cat food in the bowl, but the birds didn’t return. As I drove away I thought how the birds were so much like people in their actions. I particularly identified to the little bird that was left out because I experienced rejection many times in my life.

Christmas parties are now in full swing along with numerous Christmas programs at various churches. It is the perfect time to visit and laugh with friends as we celebrate the season where we acknowledge the birth of Jesus. What better season to experience the true joy of Christmas with love for our fellow man. Alas, that isn’t always the case.

I remember a time many, many years ago when I attended a Christmas party. I knew very few of the people, but I longed to be accepted and included by others. However, that wasn’t the case. People were gathered in small groups visiting and as I tried to join in, they briefly said hello and then excluded me as they went back to their discussion. I can remember how sad I was and how I cried and cried when I got home.

Ever since that time I tried to make people feel welcomed. From personal experience I remembered the extreme loneliness I felt that Christmas. I was a stranger amongst people who knew each other well and enjoyed each other’s company.

As we celebrate through parties and Christmas programs, I urge you to seek out someone new (perhaps even an angel) to include in your festivities. Follow the example and teachings of Jesus, as you truly love one another.

Debra Whittington is a long time resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at :