First off Merry Christmas. That is after all why I am here.
Let me start by saying I had a great day. Probably the best Christmas I’ve had in recent years. It’s been a while since the last time I’ve enjoyed Christmas. The last few years I’ve just about boycott it, dreading the gift giving, the gift buying, the gift receiving, last year we even skipped the whole gift process. While I did enjoy skipping the mad rush and crazies out in the world of mall shopping, last Christmas lacked something that I didn’t know we needed til today.
It’s not about the gifts. It’s about the love and the thoughtfulness. And even more so for me today, it’s about recognizing how blessed you are and how far you’ve come.
I’ve spent much of the last 3 (maybe longer) years filled with negativity. I don’t know when it happened or what triggered it but I remember a time when I was always happy, positive, full of life, a dreamer. And somewhere I lost that part of me. I’ve spent much of 2016 recognizing this in myself and trying to find a way back. It’s been difficult and I’m still not there. And this morning I had one of those moments that if you’re paying attention can help change the negativity to positivity. So my goal now is to hold on to what I found this morning and spread that throughout my life. I’ve always believed positivity attracts positivity. And I need positivity.
So you’re asking, ok what happened this Christmas morning that was so different from other Christmas mornings and every other typical morning? This morning I found how blessed I am and that’s the best gift I could ever receive.
Flashback to a Christmas 15ish years ago. My mother, a single mom of two kids, supporting on her own when my father walked away, her with no job, 15 years of unemployment, $40 in her checking and no car, she used the income tax refund as a down payment on a car and took the first $20k job she could find. Christmas time came around and money was tight but she still managed to fill the holiday with wonder and joy. The presents were all bought second hand, some reaking of cigarettes and covered in crayon scribbles. The wrapping paper was old newspapers that she sponge painted trees and stars on. At the time I thought she was being really creative and I loved the presents no matter the state they were in. She made Christmas Christmas and I was completely unaware of the struggle she was facing. I now know the hidden things behind that Christmas and I love my mom more than I think I let her know and I need to change that.
So this morning, the number of presents has gotten fewer over the years rightfully so as we grew older so the piles were small this morning. I had asked for 2 things, socks and windshield wipers. I knew my mom would buy a few more things as that is who she is and there needs to be something fun under the tree. I got the socks and the windshield wipers, I got a few other little items that will keep me busy over the year. But the one thing that gave me the best gift I could ask for was a check. It’s not the amount of the check or the fact that I got money. It’s that my mother is now in a state of her life where she is able to give and not stress over how to pay for it. It’s how far we’ve come as a family from our lowest to this year here now. We have so much to be thankful for and are truly blessed to be here today.
My life has not always been easy. But my life is not as terrible as I’ve been making it. I have more to be grateful for than so many others and I know somewhere today there’s a family very much in the same position my family was in many years ago. It’s time I acknowledge it and change my life. It’s time I let more love out and accept more love in. I have so much more to offer myself and this life. I can do better. I will do better. I am blessed. I want others to be blessed as well.
Faith, Hope, and Love.