it’s almost Christmas and I love this time of year.
Don’t get me wrong, it can bring its own problems, heartaches both emotional and financial.
Christmas can be the loneliest time when you are on your own or in a dead relationship, particularly when you naturally compare your life and situation to all those happy families on tv.
Statistically Christmas has the highest divorce and suicide rates .. as people realise they don’t want to be with their partner any longer or sadly choose to end it all.
Financially, like it or not, we are living in a material world and some families out there are struggling to provide the gifts their kids want. Not that the kids actually need these material things, but it’s the power of advertising and peer pressure that the expectation is that as parents we provide.
Christmas .. truly the best of times and the worst of times,
My auntie Anna is currently up from England for the weekend, so today I popped over to my Auntie Maureen’s to see them both as I won’t see Anna for a while and won’t catch up with Maureen until after the big day.
Maureen and Anna are my mums sisters, Anna is 10 years younger than mum and is her double. So although Anna and mum have very different personalities and life experiences, there was a feeling like it was like sitting with mum.
it was great to catch up with them both and my uncle Tony, i feel very blessed to have such a fantastic family, its very grounding sitting shooting the breeze with people who have known you for you’re full life, humbling, reassuring,
Anyways, after the pleasantries, drinking tea and catching up with life, family, kids etc, I opened up the bags of gifts that I brought over. Not that these matter, but they loved what i’d bought them.
My last gift for them was the smallest, a framed photo of both of them taken at my cousin Gerry’s at the Gala day over a year ago.
They both hate getting their photo taken, so this was unusual and captured them both perfectly.
My initial thought on giving this was so that they would both have a treasured image of each other particularly as it is a exceptionally good photo.
But on opening the wrapping, their reaction completely surprised me.
They both started crying, I didn’t understand why the pic had upset them and apologised for not realising the photo would have that effect.
But, that wasn’t it .. the reason they were crying was because the image of Anna, reminded them so much of their sister, my mum.
There was no sadness, just happy, poignant tears .. and a few big hugs for me. Not that I was looking for that, but once my aunties had explained their feelings and that they were delighted with the photo then I was a happy boy.
Now at home, feeling grounded, loved, reassured in a way that only the closeness of family can do.
I’m wondering, what else can I do, what small gifts can I give to my friends and other family members that will have more meaning to them than anything materialistic?
The old saying … It’s the thought that counts .. usually goes along with getting a crap gift that you didn’t really want.
After todays lesson, i’d like to change that to .. it’s the thoughtfulness that counts.
Thanks for listening.