The holiday season has always been unique and meaningful for me. When Thanksgiving was added to my list after making the United States my new home, I felt blessed being able to celebrate the holiday season for a longer time.
My celebration is based on gratitude, a deep appreciation for all my blessings. One could wonder how I can feel that way with my serious health struggles, but I do. Every morning is a new beginning for me, and I feel blessed that I am still alive and able to enjoy life and this holiday season.
The sense of Christmas was instilled in me by my mother. She always made this holiday very special, and although we had little in the way of material things, she taught my sister and me to appreciate what we had and to share with those who had less. Christmas was a time for gratitude and sharing, and it has remained with me to this day.
It is so gratifying to give and to see the sparkle forming in someone’s eyes. Years ago, when my health was better, and I had more energy, Steve and I loved to adopt a family and bring Christmas to them. I fondly recall one year in particular. We learned that the little six-year-old girl of the family we adopted had lost her belief in Santa because he hadn’t shown up the year before. She felt that she must have done something very wrong, and her little heart was heavy and sad. Steve and I thought we had to do more than visit with gifts. Steve rented a Santa costume, and we showed up with a tree, presents, and “ho-ho-ho.” I will never forget the little girl’s eyes and the miracle happening for her when she threw her arms around Santa’s neck. We always made sure that we knew what gifts would be appreciated, and the little girl’s dream was a dollhouse. Santa brought it, and her joy was a treasured gift for us. Yes, giving is more rewarding than receiving.
My Christmas is filled with cherished memories and love. I am enjoying every moment and hope you do the same. It doesn’t matter what our religious beliefs are; it is a time of the year when we can open our hearts and minds, reach out, and spread love and caring.