When we were young (and not so young), there was never a single gift under our family Christmas tree… up until the night of Christmas when Santa would drop down our chimney and bring us all wonderful presents. On Christmas Eve, the five of us would leave the house to attend mass followed by a big family gathering. We would come back in the wee hours of the morning to find our Christmas tree full of goodies. My sisters and I would be so incredibly excited… like kids at Christmas! (After all, Christmas is also about the presents… Not what’s in the boxes exactly, but the thoughts and feelings wrapped around them for days before and weeks after.)
This was one of the many precious Christmas traditions my parents enriched our lives with. It pursued over the years – much beyond our faith in the old white bearded man – and brought us pure joy, as well as teaching us patience and gratitude.
Another vivid memory I have of this time of year is seeing my parents sitting at the dining table with piles of cards and envelopes and an address book. They would write dozens of cards wishing their family and friends a wonderful festive season. Among the pile would always be three very special ones for my sisters and I to read on Christmas morning (which would every time create an outpour of heartfelt emotions).
This simple gesture of taking the time to write beautiful wishes to our loved ones is to me at the heart of Christmas – it’s about love, sharing and togetherness. So again this year, I got my red and green pens out (never miss an opportunity to be festive!) in the spirit of Christmas.
I would like to encourage you to also create a magical Christmas for yourself and those you cherish. Fill it with memories to look forward to, to live with all the joy in the world and to always, always remember.