Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 25, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 25, 2004 – The world over, people woke up this morning with thoughts of the festive season foremost in their hearts and minds. This day of celebration with its message of warmth, caring, love, kindness, forgiveness and hope.
If these sentiments could only be pervasive in all our lives throughout the coming years, what a different world we would have to pass on to coming generations. If the divisive nature of religion could be transformed into the inclusive nature of spirituality, the message of this beautiful season would comfort the world. The lesson of Christmas is to carry these feelings with us in all our activities throughout the coming days, weeks and months.
How incredible it would be if our impatience was transformed to patience – our judgement to acceptance – our fear to love – our intolerance to tolerance – our sadness to joy – our anger to kindness – our frustration to understanding and our closed minds to open hearts.
I’ve spoken with friends this morning to pass on my love and my warm wishes for the holiday. Augie came over to sit at my feet and then plunked his paw down on my knee to make sure I appreciated his presence. Ziggy wove his way in and out between my feet and then playfully swatted his big brother on the nose. I am so aware of the privilege it is to share my world with these beautiful little souls and amazed at the unconditional nature of their love.
The fireplace is warming my feet, candles are flickering in their crystal holders and Christmas music fills the room. I have said a quiet, good morning to my parents and to Michael. Always present, in spite of their physical absence, they have a place in my heart that is theirs alone – untouched by time and space.
There will be many homes this morning not filled with love, joy and promise and to those people I send a prayer that their unhappiness will not be of long duration. May my small prayer join with the prayers of millions of people the world over to alleviate the sadness of our beautiful planet. Even though each of us is walking our own path, a helping hand extended to another can forever alter a life. One person can indeed make a difference and we may never know the distance that a word or a kind gesture may reach – sometimes around the world.
I can laugh out loud now at the petty annoyance I experienced the other day as my tresses of red replaced my expected days of blonde. The child in me reacted to the disappointment and now the adult can give the child a hug and laugh at the inconsequential nature of my upset. But that’s all part of who I am and to denigrate my child is to deny part of my soul. Acceptance is a far more precious commodity than strife.
The message of Christmas resides in the heart and soul of every person the world over – regardless of race, creed, colour or religious persuasion. If enough of us carried it with us throughout the coming year – we would change the world – one person at a time. This isn’t just rhetoric, it’s true. This year if I just remember to be kind and not judgmental and loving instead of detached and closed I will change my experience of life. That is one of my hopes for 2005.
People often learn from example and what better teacher could there be than the message of the holiday season. Once again I’m reminded of the poet Maya Angelou who said, “When you learn – teach and when you get – give”. There is power in the generosity of the holidays. Many people behave in ways unknown to them throughout the rest of the year, their spirits are altered by love, and then changed once again by the pace of our fast moving world.
This year, I’m going to attempt to make the alteration permanent. What better gift could I give to my family, my friends, business colleagues and clients than a changed spirit? This doesn’t need to be accomplished with great fanfare – a quiet, private resolve to become the woman I’m capable of being is enough.
I’ve just returned from a beautiful Christmas dinner with Eric, Dorothy and their extended family, of which I’ve become a welcome part. We exchanged gifts, talked, laughed, enjoyed a sublime dinner of turkey, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, roast potatoes and the usual trimmings of gravy and cranberry sauce. Flaming Christmas pudding with custard sauce topped off this delicious feast.
A meal worthy of kings. Conversations around the dinner table ranged from politics to university education, cottage life, travel, trivia, nonsense and cooking. Partaking of a beautiful dinner is truly one of the best gifts people can share. Food prepared with care and served with love. I can’t think of a better way to ensure that the spirit of the day is memorable and meaningful.