Some two months ago I was talking to my husband about Christmas. As many people do, we give each other presents for Christmas. I truly had no idea what to give him this year. I told him I was struggling with it, because I didn't want to give him anything that he wouldn't like or need. The thing is that we have a pretty good life now, and there isn't really anything that we need, there isn't anything that we lack.
But there were times as well, when there wasn't much money to spend on Christmas presents, times when I was surely lacking in even some basic things.
I remember the times when I was totally broke, and as a single mum there wasn't much money for Christmas presents. I had lost my job, and we were living of 25-30 Australian dollars per week. It was tough. We did give each other presents though. But we decided not to spend anything more than $5.00.
At Christmas day we opened our presents and were all amazed at what we had been able to get. The presents were creative and personal. I totally loved it!
I learned that we don't need big things to make us happy. If the present is personal and touches our heart, then that is a truly big gift.
I also remember working in a retirement village many years ago. What really stood out was how lonely many of these residents were. At Christmas, the kitchen of the retirement village was closed, and a frozen meal was provided for those who didn’t spend Christmas with family or friends.
“Thankfully, most of the residents didn’t spend Christmas alone, but my heart broke for those who were left to sit alone. I remember one man in particular who was sitting alone in his room, just staring out of the window…”
What would you like to get for Christmas? Is it a big expensive present?
What do you give for Christmas? Is it something you know the other really likes? Is it something the other maybe really needs? Is it something you already have but don't like?
Or is it about spending time with family and friends, maybe giving or receiving something really personal, something that touches your heart?
To me, personally, Christmas is about a couple of things.
It's about spending time with my beautiful family. This is what really makes me happy. I can't spend time enough with them. To be with my husband, my daughters and their families, to see my grand-kids play, that is what is more important to me than anything else in my life.
Christmas to me is also about reflecting about the past year. I look at all the things I have done and achieved and at the things that didn't go well or that I still need to do.
And then last, but not least, Christmas to me is about love and spreading love, and contributing to the happiness of other people. It's about standing still by how I contribute to the community, how I relate to others, and what I do to make this world a better place.
This year, my husband and I decided to give each other a nice Christmas card, and the renewed promise to love each other, be with each other, and appreciate what we have. I am very fortunate that today I do not only have all that I need, but I also have many loving people in my life. That is all I could ever wish for!