I saw a friend post a question asking what was your best Christmas gift ever. I didn’t think of the material things I had accumulated over the years – although those suede boots in junior high were pretty snazzy, and of course the plane tickets to see my college roommate one year was pretty fantastic.
My best Christmas gift actually came a couple months after Christmas – on February 9 actually; the birth of my son. From there my Christmas gifts just multiply.
The time I was given with my father, brother and grandparents before they passed. Talking to my best friend every day and being able to go spend New Years with her this year. My extended family who, no matter how much time passes in our seeing each other, are always a strong foundation waiting to welcome you with open arms. All the people in my life now that are a constant source of laughter, love, support and friendship.
And let’s not forget my dogs. They are their own gift that just keeps on giving…and pooping. My goodness my dogs are poopers! But that is another story.
Although my father passed I was given another gift a few years ago – my mom married Jim and he is now one of the blessings that I count every day. I have a step-dad who is not only willing to put up with my family’s crazy antics but also goes out of his way in a kind and unselfish way to provide support and love. I am so very thankful.
My grandparents all passed when I was very young and now I find that I have a couple of adopted grandparents along the way who are adorable and I am so grateful that they are a part of my life. They provide that sweet affection while giving the “oh now, let’s not do that” look when they hear of my exploits.
My big brother was larger than life in my eyes and could never be replaced. I now find that I have been adopted as a little sister by some friends who provide all the big brother advice, protection and love that my brother would provide if he were here today.
I was asked by someone if it is difficult being alone on the holidays and I simply looked at them and replied that I wouldn’t know. I’m not alone. I have a full heart with all those that I love and that love me.
Material items come and go, wealth can be accumulated and lost, jobs can come and go and relationships can last or be walked away from – but unconditional love is a never-ending source of strength, inspiration and comfort.
Although I will not be able to physically see all those that I love for Christmas they are here with me, not just during the holiday, but every day. They are there supporting me when I am striving, they are laughing at me when I do something silly and they are the comfort when I am struggling.
Christmas is going to be different this year, not a traditional get the entire family together, have eggnog and sing carols type Norman Rockwell Christmas. Rather it will be a very small gathering not lasing very long and then we will disburse to retreat to our individual homes.
But the spirit of Christmas –generosity, support, friendship, kindness and most importantly love will be there, it is here now and it will continue to be here after the day is done.
I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and my wish is that you take a just a moment during all the festivities to stop and look around you. Listen to the laughter, watch the smiles, feel the warmth of those around you. Just taking a moment to step back and be thankful that these are your people.
They may be crazy, heck, they may drive you crazy, but they are your people. They love you and you have the gift of their presence in your life. Be grateful, be loving, be kind and be generous in your time. If someone cannot attend then call them. Tell them that you love them. What if there really is some rampant reindeer knocking old people over? Don’t make it the last holiday that goes by without you letting them know you love them.
The gift of Christmas isn’t the material; it is the day – every day – that you are able to love and be loved. Everything I could ever want for Christmas I already have and I am truly grateful.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.