Christmas means many things to many people. When I was younger, like most kids whom I grew up with, it was a time for spending time with your family, time off school(which was always good) and presents (which was even better). As I hit my teens and grew to an age where I could start work the meaning altered slightly. It was still a time for spending it with family, still time off from work,(which was good) and there were still presents(which was still better) but this time because I was earning money I could buy presents for others. It truly was a time for giving. When I had a family of my own it changed once more, the magic returned. Watching my kids faces as they saw the presents under the tree brought back memories of when I was their age and the magical feeling you got around that time. Now my kids are all grown up with families of their own and they are experiencing the magic I felt as they watch their own kids.
Something I saw on Facebook earlier this week made me look at this time of year a little differently. As the years have passed by my life has changed. This past year I have striven to realise my dream of becoming a full time writer. I have taken steps toward that dream and although I remain hopeful that it will materialise one day, that day has not yet arrived. Along the way I have made some new friends who are helping me in my endeavour but more importantly I have lost people who were more important in my life than I cared to realise. Not because I felt any the less for them but because in losing them made me face my own mortality more. I have long joked that I will live forever but sadly that fact was disproved by a simple post on Facebook. A class friend of mine commented on the death of another class mate and this was followed by a list of all those from our class who were no longer with us. When you see it displayed in front of you like that it is hard to ignore the unyielding truth. So now it is a time for reflection for me. A time not to mourn those lost but to remember. A time to be thankful for all the things you have in your life and not those you haven’t. When I take a tally of the things I have I realise I am one of the wealthiest men alive. Among my riches, which monetary wealth is not one, are my loving family and friends, something that cannot have a price put on them. I still have my health, which at my age never ceases to astound me and until this fades i will continue to live life as I have for these past numerous years.
Christmas means many things to many people and this is what it means to me.