Imagine the perfect Christmas day, loved ones smiling and laughing around a magnificent Christmas tree immaculately covered with sparking trinkets. Each present gratefully received is opened with sighs of wonder at the perfect gift! Delectable scents waft from the kitchen making mouths water at the fore coming feast. Carols fill the atmosphere with love, reminding us all of the true meaning of Christmas.
What exactly is the “true meaning of Christmas?” With only days before the big event, it is understandably dubbed “the silly season.” Who the heck can get a car park at the shopping centre in under half an hour, without at least one run-in with another frustrated patron?
There is pressure of getting your child(ren) the gift they asked Santa for, regardless of price or the fact that it’s the most popular item this year; and Myer, Target, and Kmart are all out of stock! Then there is the cost of the Christmas feast, not to mention the exhausting hours preparing it! Do you buy gifts for every relative? And how do we deal with you know who, bound to have one too many yet again and cause a scene? The stress list goes on and on.
So what was the reason behind all this again?
Before you jump online to book an overseas trip toward the end of December, allow me to share a true story that gifted me that exact perspective just a few weeks ago.
I was one in a million — in the plaza, the food court at lunch time to be precise! I was walking past a young man in a wheelchair when he looked at me and said in a slurred voice, “Hello.”
I stopped, bent down and said, “Hello, my name’s Simone. What’s yours?”
“Tony,” he says, “Are you single?”
“Ha! Tony, no, I’ll be gratefully married 20 years in March. And I’d guess I’m old enough to be your mother! How old are you?” I replied.
“24,” he stated.
We continued to chat for a while, whilst his carer purchased lunch for the two of them. They were then headed to the movies to see the new James Bond film. I said goodbye offering to keep an eye out for any potential suitors and walked away with one of the greatest gifts in my life.
I didn’t ask directly, but with personal experience, I would say Tony had experienced a stroke that he may never fully recover from. Can you imagine for a minute what your life would look like in Tony’s shoes? He speaks with a slow slur, has jerky arm movements and can’t walk. Underneath all this, his mind would still be similar to yours and mine. He would still have the same longing for love, companionship and contribution, yet most people would regard him as simple and disabled, feeling awkward or afraid to engage in his world.
I imagined Tony to be lonely, trapped in a dysfunctional body at the ripe old age of 24, with the rest of his to look forward to. I looked at my life and thanked God for the abundant blessings I somehow ended up with. I don’t know why some things happen to one person and not another, but what I do know is that I am BLESSED to be a BLESSING, not a dam that keeps it all to myself, stagnating over time! I have the privilege to share what I have: resources, knowledge, finances, love, wisdom, friendship and GRATITUDE!
Is that not the true meaning of Christmas? Keep it simple this year: remember what’s really important, often its something you can’t buy and you already have it!
Merry Christmas! xo