…he’s going to find out if I’m naughty or nice!?
Christmas Eve. Can’t believe it’s here already. It never fails to sneak up on me even though it’s the same date every year! When I was a child, the weeks leading up to Christmas were always exciting and terrifying. I would spend hours making my list to Santa Claus, careful not to ask for too much and very clear as to what I hoped for. I learned that the more specific I was with the description, the better chance I had that Santa would get it right. Except of course the year that I asked for an Easy Bake Oven and somehow Santa misunderstood and got me a vacuum instead! Not Santa’s finest moment…but I digress.
I would lie in bed at night going over and over in my head every action I’d taken over the year. Every deed that “he” might frown upon. Hoping and pleading that Santa would find me to have been “nice.” My parents certainly used this angst to keep my brother and I in line. “Better brush your teeth, Patti, SANTA is watching!”
From a very young age I’ve loved giving presents to people. Sometimes they are bought but often I make things. Hand painted trays for entertaining, slippers, hats and scarves, crocheted blankets, custom hot water bottles, home-made bath bombs….the list of “crafts” is endless. I like creating something that is unique; something that says I care. I love entertaining and cooking up a storm for family and friends. I love making people feel comfortable and at ease in my home and I love to share all that I have.
This Christmas is a little different. I’m just a few days post-op and moving very slowly. I managed a shower today which was epic, but then had to have a nap as it exhausted me. I’m cutting back a lot on the pain meds as they knock me out, but I am still in a lot of pain so its a balancing act. Weeks ago, as a Christmas present I bought the family tickets to Come From Away, the musical based on the story of the people of Gander Newfoundland who opened their homes and hearts to thousands of stranded passengers after 911. The tickets were for today, at 1:30. I thought what a nice way to start the holidays with an “event” and then home to celebrate Christmas all together. Unfortunately, I am not well enough to go, so they have gone to the show without me.
I have seen the show in NYC and was so touched by the story that I thought it was the perfect “gift” to start the holidays. People of every age, background, sex, religion and language came together in a time of crisis to look out for each other. ..to help one another and to learn from each other, that no matter who you are and what your differences may be, kindness is a unifying force.
Today, I was shown an incredible kindness too. Three of my business colleagues who have grown to become friends have done something magical for me. They knew I was struggling to figure out how I was going to pull off Christmas dinner for my family and how much I wanted to make the day special. So they pulled together, bought a pre-cooked Christmas feast with turkey and all the trimmings and delivered it to my house! I can’t even put into words how much I appreciate this. The fact that they thought enough of me to do this is overwhelming. They called and said they were doing this for me and would not take no for an answer. I’ve been bawling like a baby, so overcome with gratitude. This truly is the best present I could have asked for.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not I would like to think that the spirit of what Christmas is “supposed” to be about lives within all of us. The spirit of giving, of tolerance of acceptance of kindness and of love.
Today, I was once again reminded of this. That doing unto others as you would have them do unto you; really does matter. That good will to all (wo)men is something that we should recognize and strive for not just at this time of year but all year! It is the way we should live our lives every day. No matter if you’re religious or not, spiritual or not; being a kind and generous person is what we all should try to be.
Yes, this will be a very different Christmas for me. It will be very quiet while I recuperate from surgery; but it will be a Christmas that I will remember forever. This Christmas I was given something that wasn’t on a “list”…it wasn’t in a store or on-line. This year, I was given a tremendous gift…the gift of friendship and love. And that is the best gift I could ever ask for.
Thank you to my friends and my family for helping me through this journey. I couldn’t have done it without you XO
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.