As I sit alone at home this holiday eve, allowing myself one more day of rest after the illness that knocked me off my feet and kept me flat in bed for five days, I find myself contemplating what is important this day, and only one answer comes to the fore-front of my mind.
Family. As I have always known and accepted, family is the biggest importance to me and always has been, but somehow over the years, the need to be with family has grown. As has my strength in myself when I can not be with them (as tonight - one more day away to make sure the virus is passed and will not be passed on to loved ones).
This definition of family has evolved to include the many very good friends who have grown to mean so much to me throughout the years, whom I will not see this year as they are with their families. These people who have made a great difference in my life, had an enormous affect on my life choices, and help me make sense of the direction I am headed, advising me, and encouraging me when I falter.
As over the years, my family has grown, I have found myself not even participating in gifting. I know so many people who mean so much to me - each of them deserves a gift, yet the thought of trying to find something each person will like that is not just a gift to give something ultimately overwhelms me and I let go of the idea all together. I want a gift to have meaning and be useful not just... collect dust until it is tossed in the new year. Additionally, I often choose to avoid participation in the big commercial hubbub of the holiday. So I resolve to make gifts... unfortunately, often too late to finish in time. (Do you ever find yourself in this situation?)
Alas, here I am on the eve of Christmas, grateful to be finally feeling well enough to get to spend time with family on the holiday. Tomorrow I will bake my offering of cookies for the dessert after the family dinner. My gift to the family with whom I get to share this holiday. Made from the heart, with love, for each and every one of them holds a place in my heart forever. As do those with whom I am separated by land, ocean, or circumstances this season.
And so, here I leave a note to all of my dear, precious - new and old - family and friends: Please know that each one of you is elementally irreplaceable in my life. Without you, my life would be so different: your presence makes is so much more happy, more interesting, more fun, and fulfilling. You are the best present I will ever receive in this life. Thank you for choosing to be in mine.
Many wishes of great fun with family and friends this Holiday Season.
with Joy, ~Alaina