Saturday, December 3, 2011

What would you like for Christmas?

Madonna and Child

I’ve always thought of the Christmas holiday preparation and grand finale similar to taking up an additional part time job in December. The question ofwhat would I like for Christmas seems to be the last thing on my mind. I’m thinking more in terms of how the heck I’m going to get my Christmas shopping, decorating, and baking done with the final push being the full sit down dinner with turkey and clean sparkling glassware. All the while showing up for my full time job and being a positive presence for students who are stressed out studying for finals! (Well.. at least I don’t have 7 finals to study for!)

Yesterday one of my students came in to chat with me about a project she’s been working on. She has a blog that has taken on a life of its own and has become quite popular internationally. is a daily reminder of things we should appreciate in life. She is coming up on the one year anniversary of her blog and gets thousands of hits a day. If you take a look you will see why she has attracted so many followers.

The things she appreciates are all free. Free for the taking.

Unfolding a paper snowflake.

Getting a compliment you’ve never received before.

Remembering there are good leftovers from the day before.

Getting your hair brushed.

Glancing over at someone and he/she is already looking at you.

Logging on to Facebook on your birthday!

As of today there are 537 things to appreciate. All realized by a 16 year old girl. That’s a gift in itself.

My meeting with Nancy made me think about the gifts of Christmas that are free for the taking. Gifts that make a significant difference in our lives. Forgiveness, faith, love, hope, kindness, mercy, grace, joy, peace, countenance, patience, piety, discipline, integrity, courage, acceptance, knowledge, fortitude. There are too many to list. All available to us. All free.

Perhaps these are the real gifts of Christmas.

If a 16 year old girl knows what’s most important in life, shouldn’t we?


4 Responses

  1. Forgiveness — ah, that’s a powerful one.

    This reminds me of a book I picked up years ago called 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, The Happy Book by Barbara Ann Kipfer (1990) that I find myself thumbing through randomly on occasion.

    I’ve also started a gratitude journal which has been off and on (alas, mostly off) for a few years now. It’s time to get it going again. Powerful stuff when you think about the little things.

  2. I’m grateful for our friendship of 30 years; going back to when we were part of the bible study group at St. Mary’s in Whittier starting in 1982. Here’s to at least 30 more years!

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