What if this was your last Christmas. What would you wish for as a gift?
I’m sure I’m not alone when it comes to not being overly organised at Christmas, that I’m not the only one who finishes their Christmas shopping on Christmas eve.
Every year I begin shopping early December believing I’ll sail through this Christmas. I ask my children pleasantly, ‘What would you like for Christmas?’. After a few trips to the shops I ask again, but this time I may sound a bit more threatening, ‘Tell me what you want for Christmas?’. Then finally around about December 17th I find myself in a rage, the pressure building, muttering constantly as I make my way around the house, ‘Stupid presents, you should be grateful for whatever you get’. Then comes ‘the moment’, the time my family know that Christmas has cracked me. When I return laden from a day shopping, and shout in their direction, ‘I’m keeping the receipts and if you don’t like what I got you, well, tough, you can return it. See if I care’.
Over the past few days I could feel it building. I knew I was only days away from that final crack. However this morning I read something and it stopped me in my tracks. I could feel my Christmas anxiety drop almost immediately.
It was an article written in ‘The USA Today’ about a young American basketball player, nineteen year old Lauren Hill. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour fourteen months ago and is sadly very close to the end of her battle. Since diagnosis she has raised over half a million dollars and awareness for her type of cancer. The article was a recent interview she gave during which she said,
‘For Christmas I don’t want any material gifts, I just want time. Time to spend with my family’.
Reading this made me have a serious rethink. Lauren Hill at just nineteen years of age is running out of time. Here I am rushing around with barely a moment to spare, not appreciating the time I have. When I’m not racing to the pool, I’m rushing off shopping. Family time is almost non existent. My priorities are ass ways.
So today I am taking a stand. I had planned to get in some shopping and do some other pre Christmas crazy racing around. However I will desist. This afternoon I will not leave the house, instead we will spend the afternoon hopefully watching a Christmas movie or two. With any luck my older two children will arrive home from College for Christmas and join us.
‘What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare’.
Today I intend to stop running around trying to buy my family the things I think they want. Instead I will give them what is priceless. Time spent laughing and enjoying family life together.
Thank you Lauren Hill for the timely reminder. This Christmas I already have all I could want.