Reviewing my years on this earth, a prominent and dear memory cut through my aging mind.
When I was eight, my dad and I were driving home on a cold, crisp Christmas Eve just after the sun retired. My excitement rocketed as he said Santa had left the North Pole heading for our house. His promise and the sparkling stars lit my mind with the magic of flying reindeer pulling Santa in his red shiny sleigh.
Although great, it isn’t my fondest memory. The absolute dearest is when my nomad son came to visit on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day after being absent for more than 15 years due to his lifestyle.
It had been five years since we set eyes on each other, even though we spoke frequently. Although a tad nervous, I was overjoyed seeing, hugging him and telling him how much he was loved. Another miracle was holding onto his eyes candidly speaking for hours.
Never will I forget his endorsement of my parenting, which is far more valuable and heartwarming than a wagon full of gifts.
And the “I’m sorry, Mom. I love you” still melts my heart.
Thank God, neither of us bought the lie there is always tomorrow to say the ‘I love yous,’ straighten out the past and be at peace with one another. He was brutally murdered several months later. No more memories can be made. His words of love and presence echo in my head.
Simple pleasures and the personal touch can never be replaced with gobs of presents, big bank accounts or vacations. An email or text can’t convey passion and humility.
Hot cars, glittery jewels and keeping up with society and the latest tech can’t be substituted for smiling eyes and laughter. Stuff, junk, can and will inflate egos, then smack your financial bottom line with repayment worries.
When the chips are down, a cell will not hold your hand as you die, or laugh at the way your mind works. Nor will it hold you in the depth of despair or in the delights of love.
You may under- or overwork at your loved or hated job, but it will never love or hate you back.
This Christmas and every day for the rest of your lives, break through the silence to admit when, not if, you are wrong. When you are afraid to tell someone you love or think highly of them, shove fear aside, instead of anticipating a negative response.
Touch the cheek of your dear children, aging parents and friends, reminding them of your love and caring. Take your girl flowers for no particular occasion, other than to show your appreciation.
Thank your partner for who they are. When someone does well, acknowledge them.
Put down your cell, remote, techie stuff and all that keeps you from the true spirit of life and Christmas.
Nothing can replace the human heart, touch or spoken word as we never know when the nature order of life short circuits and leaves us only memories. Practise loving and life, instead of sending a cheque, talking or texting about it.
My 365-day Christmas wish for all is to make some forever memories every day of your life not just in the season.
Remember… give more than you get, to receive more than you give.
Laura MacDonald, Surrey