The Holiday season is the best time of the year for me…I love everything about it. The magic, the kindness, the hustle and bustle, the cleaning, the decorating, the giving, and the receiving. I prepare a list of things I would like to buy for my family each year. I also make a list of things I’d like to receive and a list of things I’d like to do during the Holidays. Tis the season for magic.
This year baking cookies was number one on my list.
Thankfully I purchased almost everything on the wish list for my family, and everyone seemed pretty happy—it’s the first time in a long time I didn’t ask for a wish list from everyone.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t do any of the things on my bucket list—the days leading up to the Holidays seemed to have slipped away so fast this year, and my wish list…well, that didn’t work out the way I hoped.
As Christmas Day approached, I felt overwhelmed, somehow defeated, with a sense of disappointment and all the other ugly heads that always appear when we feel like we haven’t accomplished the things we want to. It was so hard to shake those feelings until Christmas Eve.
A Visit from a Friend
A friend of mine left New Jersey and came to New York to bring me homemade bread, Black cake, and sorrel—all the things I look forward to each year. Because they remind me of the Holiday Season in the place I once called home. It was wonderful to see her, I had looked forward to catching up since we weren’t able to for some time.
When she got to my house, I had been crying most of the day—I must have been so wrapped up in my emotional mess that I hadn’t realized she had been at the front door for a while.
Earlier this year, we spoke about a friend having a not-so-great time—he was at a low point and had leaned on her for some support. As we talked almost in passing, she said, “because I lost a friend this year—he took his life.” SILENCE followed. I was stopped in my tracks…WHAT?
How did I not know about this? I called myself your friend—how was I not there to support you, then it hit me, and I asked, “was that the friend that was having a challenging time?” “Yes, that friend.” There were so many emotions that very moment, none of which I could express.
There I was, pouting because I couldn’t experience the things on my Holiday bucket list while my friend was grieving the loss of a very dear friend and a family somewhere was spending the holidays without their loved ones (like so many other families).
Maybe she realized it but the rest of the visit was very quiet—I didn’t have much to say, and we just hung out, both of us in deep thought evaluating things, I guess.
I realized something at that moment—in the midst of it all, yes, it would have been wonderful to receive everything on my wish list. And yes, I would have enjoyed experiencing all those things on my bucket list. But seriously, what was important to me? And the only thing I could think of at that moment was how precious our lives are and how grateful I was.
I was alive, and I was breathing. Here I was, alive, sitting at my dining table, having a conversation with my beautiful friend, my family was alive and well. At that moment, the gifts or my silly bucket list didn’t matter.
While I am so very grateful for the gifts, I did receive, the greatest gift I received this Holiday season was God’s Grace to continue to live my life—to continue to pursue my dreams. To tell my mom and Dad, I love them. To continue to work at being a better mom and wife, daughter, sister, and friend and to hear the laughter of my 80-year-old grandmother—how wonderful is that?
I hope you all had a fabulous Holiday— I hope you received everything on your wish list, I sincerely do. Still, I’m writing to remind you that the only thing we all have is the present moment, and with every breath we take, it’s another chance to live our beautiful lives to the fullest :).
Happy Holidays Luvs