Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Leftovers

Christmas 2013 was fabulous! There was more of everything, it seemed: More family, more gifts, more food, more conversation, more fun!

But as I sit on the couch one day later in my pajamas , with a cup of coffee and a blanket, there are two Christmas "leftovers" that stick out in mind. These stories serve as humbling life lessons for 2014.

1. My elderly Aunt Veronica, retired with a fixed income, had the whole family in stitches as she celebrated her Christmas "gifts." She squealed with delight after unwrapping a jumbo box of cornflakes, a multi-pack of fruit cups and a humongous bottle of juice, raising them in the air like Rafiki bearing baby Simba and proclaiming "All I wanted was something to eat this Christmas"

As I laughed, it hit me how often we take the basics for granted.  Looking around at my relatives,  I realized how blessed we all are. Although some have had more successful than others this year, we were all fortunate to have a roof over our heads, clean water to drink and access to groceries. Everything else, even socks or a re-gifted perfume set, is a generous bonus.

2. I had a great chat with my uncle. 

While everyone was busy chatting, he sat quietly staring at the Christmas tree. I suddenly felt compelled to talk to him. After the introductory how are yous and what have you been up tos, the conversation drifted towards Dallas preacher Joel Osteen and the power of a positive outlook.

To understand that importance of this conversation, you must know that my uncle was missing from our family events for several years. During that time he struggled with debt, hard times and seeming bad luck.

In our conversation, he shared how Osteen taught him how to let go of the anger that comes from disappointments and set backs and celebrate the positives as a God's little gifts. For example, a flat tire before work isn't "bad luck,"  but a discovery happily found in a parking lot rather than on a busy highway.

What leftover moments do you have from Christmas?


Lb said...

Love this. Family is so important. Special memories like these are more valuable than any material gift.

Stephanie Samuel said...

Yes, I think I appreciate those special memories more now that I am older and not so focused on gifts!

Juan Col said...

I agree. We all had a wonderful time. It was great seeing everyone in one room, even the new members of the family, laughing and having a good time. Even though we are all busy throughout the year, these special memories are priceless. Christmas is my favorite time with my family.