As a kid, Christmas was one holiday I looked forward to every year. As an adult, I still look forward to it, but with a completely different perspective.
As a kid, and even now as an adult, I wrote up a list of things family could choose from. I don’t expect that every item from the list will be under the tree Christmas morning. Not even as a kid. I think that’s where some of the fun came from. We never knew what “Santa” might bring. There would always be some surprise that was not on the list, but somehow, some way, a wish and a hope would appear wrapped in pretty paper with a bright bow on top.
Like most of us, I’m sure, kids choose 'things'. A toy or a game or two. A shirt or sweater. A book. A CD. As I got older, my list grew differently, and somehow, grew less.
I look at my daughters and want them to be happy. I want Hannah and Emily to be healthy. I want them to be successful at whatever they set out to do and to be. I wish the same for Alex, Hannah’s fiancé, and Q, Emily’s boyfriend. They are family, too.
I want to race ahead of them and remove the roadblocks and hurdles that would otherwise cause them to trip and stumble. I want to see them smile and hear them laugh. I want to hear their stories, their struggles, their successes.
I want to be with them. I want to see them.
I want them to know the door is always open to them. I want them to know my cell is always turned on “just in case.” I want them to know there will always be a place at the table for them, a light turned on for them.
I hope to never be a burden to them. I hope never to be the unwanted baggage that needs to be dealt with, pushed aside, stored in some dark, dingy closet. I hope to never embarrass them, harm them, hurt them.
The gift I want is for them to know that no matter what, I will be there. I want them to know that I’m always willing to listen to them, to hear them, to try to understand them, and to help them any way I can.
I realize that this gift is not easily wrapped. I realize that it can’t fit under a brightly lit tree. I realize that there might never be a bow on it. Mostly, I understand that at times, it might not be appreciated and that it sometimes might be forgotten. I hope not, but I understand that time and distance and the minutia of life might cause this gift to go unnoticed.
But my gift is there. My gift will always be there. Always. Something to think about . . .
From my family: Kim, Hannah and Alex, Emily and Q, and me, I hope you have a wonderful, merry Christmas! May your dreams be larger than life itself. May you never, ever lose hope. May you never lose faith. And, may you always love and be loved! God Bless!
Picture courtesy of Emily Underwood and Unsplash