Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 70 - A Gift To Myself

December 23, 2010

Christmas Bonus: It was a tough decision to make because I really wanted an iPad, but I decided the best thing to do with my $1,000 bonus (thanks, job!!) was to throw it at our debt stockpile.  Although it is a decision completely void of instant gratification, it is the right decision for me.  In a year filled with personal loss and struggle, I realize that my Christmas gifts - no matter how cool - are not what help me through the tough days.  And believe me, I have had more than my share this year.  Still having them.  I realize what has helped me the most are my personal relationships - kind of an ironic realization for someone who is not so great at making an effort to keep in touch with friends and family.

So this year most of my family is not exchanging gifts.  Instead we are purchasing a beautiful sunset maple to plant next to my Dad's final resting place.  I can't think of a better gift.  Christmas was a holiday my Dad made every effort to make a special day - no matter how little money he had in the checking account.  And every Christmas after all of his work was done, he would just sit back, relax and quietly take it all in - family, happiness, laughter, togetherness, love.

So here is my ask of you this season: enjoy the gift giving and present-opening but also remember to just sit back and take it in, even if just for a minute.  Look around at the people surrounding you and take time to laugh with them and just enjoy the day.  Don't get caught up in getting things over with so you can move on to your next stop.  Spend ten extra minutes talking with your parents or siblings or close friends.  Give an extra hug to those you love - and actually tell them out loud (or write it down) that you love them.  Trust me, you will never regret it.

I love you, Dad.  Merry Christmas.

Sarah Jane
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