Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 5, 2004
Writing My Christmas Message
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 5, 2004 – I used to send Christmas cards to friends, family and clients, but I gave up that practise a number of years ago in favour of writing a personal message. I prefer this sentiment to a scripted message from a card manufacturer. I can usually sit down and write a first draft in a matter of minutes – half an hour at the most.
I rework it a couple of times and am then satisfied that I’ve captured my thoughts. I want to send out a note of thanks, appreciation, hope, warm wishes and holiday greetings.
This year for some reason even an opening sentence eluded me. I thought about the year almost past, and made a few attempts to write the first line. It came out stilted, pompous and silly. I was sitting in my den, pen in hand, a notebook on my lap when Ziggy jumped up beside me and patted the blank sheet of paper with his paw. I looked over at him and could see the glint of mischief in his eyes. He yawned, in bored fashion, to disarm me and then napped my pen in his teeth, jumped down off the sofa and vanished from the room with a flick of his gray, bottlebrush tail. I could hear him batting the pen about all the way down the hall.
As I went to retrieve my favourite writing instrument from my devilish cat, the first line of my holiday message came to mind. The year 2004 had vanished almost as quickly as Ziggy had absconded with my pen. I sat back down and started to write and this time my thoughts flowed more easily. Half an hour later, after recollections of my professional and personal life drifted in and out of my thoughts, I had a rough first draft. I edited a few sentences and what follows are my sentiments for the year.
“Happy Holidays – 2004”
“This year is just about to fade from our lives. Once again I can hardly believe how swiftly 2004 has passed. As always my wonderful clients make my professional life enjoyable and rewarding. I thank you for your loyalty, good humour, commitment and perseverance in an often frustrating real estate market. The end result of the hunt is well worth the effort, but it doesn’t always feel that way at the time. So well done and thank you one and all.
Amidst a year of unbelievable turmoil and sadness, it’s sometimes very difficult to remember everything that is wonderful in our world. When there is so much sorrow, it’s important to spend time reflecting on the things in life that bring us joy and deep satisfaction, that make us smile and appreciate everything we have to be thankful for.
I know we all have troubles to deal with and I never make light of these matters – but in their midst are all the things that the Holiday Season is about. Friendship, fun, laughter, giving and receiving, sharing delicious meals together, family reunions, returning home, wonderful adventures, celebrating small triumphs and most of all – love. I hope this holiday season brings you all this and more and may 2005 be a year of good health, prosperity and happiness for you and yours.” . . . Rosemary
I re-read what I’d written, and decided against fine tuning the message. I’d let it stand. It says what I want to convey to my clients. I can delete the first paragraph and what remains is a lovely Christmas message for my family and friends.
Regardless of the recipient, I like to think that my thoughts may help a person feel better if they are troubled, prompt them to appreciate their good fortune in life, encourage them to think about the greater issues in our world or inspire them to share the season’s blessings with those they love and cherish.
A holiday greeting has a short season, but if the message is relevant and timely, it’s effect can last into the new year and beyond. I’m not sure that my thoughts have that kind of staying power, but there have been times in my life when kind words from a friend or stranger have prompted me to make changes that were both profound and lasting. I trust that your holiday season this year will be graced with love and laughter.