I have never been much of a fan of gifts at Christmas. Being with my loved ones and having sufficient health to enjoy their company is undoubtedly the greatest gift of all.
This year’s Christmas was one of the most joyful our family has ever experienced. That’s not so much because of all the wonderful gifts we exchanged. The difficult economy and tight budgets for all of us kept the holiday shopping at a minimum. But in spite of that — or perhaps even largely because of it — we were able to savor the greatest gift of all, each other.
Until we face the prospect of losing the things we treasure most, it’s always so easy to take them for granted. Family, friends, and especially health, are the things that really matter. And this year, we were blessed abundantly with them all.
Everything is relative, it seems. For the last several years, I’ve been struggling with many health issues. These issues have inspired me to do all that I can to be as fit as possible, but I must admit it’s been a real struggle. That’s why, when I was feeling relatively good over the holidays, and was able to fully enjoy the company of my family, I felt truly blessed.
There were many special moments this holiday season that will likely remain with me the rest of my life. There was the time when my two sons were cracking me up with reminiscences and anecdotes to the point I thought I’d pass out from laughter. Then there was that particular look my granddaughter gave me during a round of hide-and-seek that set my heart on fire. And the time my grandson was in my lap with tears flowing down his cheeks and asking me to explain why the orca in the movie Free Willy had to part company with the boy who befriended him. Then there were all those glances my wife and I traded when everyone else was trading gifts and expressions of affection. Were it not for my wonderful wife and the life we have built together, none of what I treasured so dearly over the holidays would have been possible.
I have never been much of a fan of gifts at Christmas. I love to give them, but I can never think of much of anything that I really need. So, getting material gifts from others is never something I really get excited about. But when I get to spend quality time with all those I love, I cherish every moment. Being with my loved ones and having sufficient health to enjoy their company is undoubtedly the greatest gift of all.
I wish everyone the same joy and blessings I was fortunate enough to have this holiday season.