Here’s to hoping that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. This year, Hubby gave me two very special gifts that said how much he loves me and supports all my endeavors. While they were not fancy or expensive gifts, they were perfect in every way. One is a collection of hand-crafted salts from around the world. Unusual salts – Dead Sea Salt, Black Lava Salt and Cyprus Flakes known for their large pyramid shaped crystals and mild taste characteristic of Mediterranean salts. In all the collection contains ten distinct salts. The other is a collection of California flavor-infused Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars including a Habanero Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic Vinegar. Simple perfection.
Sometimes, with all the ads screaming at us from every direction we lose sight of the true gift of Christmas through all the presents under the tree. We find ourselves bombarded with so much noise – you MUST have this – you MUST have that – get with the program and shop, shop, shop till you drop, drop, drop. Black Friday has somehow transformed into Forget the Family Thursday. Thanksgiving? Family time? Are you kidding? We camp out all night to be the first in line to snatch up whatever the hottest ticket of the season happens to be. When we put too much stock into possessions, we fail to realize that we are the ones possessed. Possessed by ad executives and marketing campaigns that convince us if we only have this or that, then our lives will be complete, our hearts filled with joy and everything will somehow be right with the world. It doesn’t take long once the gifts have been opened and the piles of this and that lay scattered about the room, that a sense of disappointment and emptiness begins to creep in. We shake the boxes, look under the scattered paper and bows and begin to wonder – where is it – the joy, the satisfaction, the magic we were promised? Well, at least I’ve got my smart-ass phone that can do everything EXCEPT connect me with another living, breathing human being. And we begin to reminisce of Christmas past – when we were children, and magic was so real.
Way back a long time ago, before Hubby came into my life, I was a young, divorced mother of two with barely two nickles to rub together. Part-time student, part-time worker, full-time Mom. Yet in the bleakest of financial times the magic of one particular Christmas Eve reminds me time and time again that believing with the heart of a child makes all things possible. My little ones were very concerned that year and the worry lay heavy in their little hearts. They were just old enough to understand that Santa comes down the chimney to delivery gifts on Christmas Eve and to realize that our tiny apartment had no chimney – no fireplace – no magical way for Santa to visit as they lay asleep. As much as I tried to convince them that Santa would find a way, I could not put their minds at ease. A few days before Christmas Eve; on a cold night; I was thinking about my little ones and wondering how to create a magical fireplace. As I drove down the street, caught up in thought, a large cardboard box blew across my path. I could not believe my eyes. Thank you, Lord. With a little paint and a lot of imagination, that box would transform from someone’s discarded trash to our magical fireplace. I brought the box home and placed it in our hallway. At first my children were not impressed. All they saw was a big box sitting in the hallway. Watch, I promised, and you will see that this isn’t an ordinary big empty box. With scissors, a little poster paint and some masking tape, that box became our fireplace. I cut out the opening in the front, then we painted the entire inside black and the outside red. With masking tape, we formed the brick pattern on the face of the box. It was beautiful. On Christmas Eve, we hung our stocking over the mantel. Santa came while my little ones slept to fill their stocking with candies and little toys. Best of all, that magical fireplace filled their hearts with the joy of believing that all things are possible. The real magic of Christmas is love, for love knows no bounds.
May the New Year fill you with hope, happiness and most of all love.