Friday, December 24, 2010
A very Merry Christmas to you!...
I love this time of the year, for different reasons as I grow and age... when I was a child... when I got to see Christmas through the eyes of my children... and now the simple joy of being the kind of person I wish I was all year round.
But it all started because of my mom.
She was a single parent with 5 children (2 girls, 3 boys) and we were poor, real poor (though I didn't know it at the time). We lived in the projects in Boston and my mom would struggle to make ends meet with some pretty crappy jobs, cleaning other peoples homes and taking in their laundry.
Two things I remember, being happy and the hope of a wonderful Christmas. No matter what the year had held for my mom, when Christmas came it was magic. It seemed no matter what we had asked Santa for, we would find it under the tree on Christmas morning.
I knew there had to be a Santa because there was no way my mom could afford to buy us these things.
When I got a little older and knew the big guy was more myth than man I couldn't figure out how my mom did it... because by then, I knew we were poor.
Then one day stumbled upon five envelopes that were rubber banned together. One had my name on it and the others had the names of my brothers and sisters. Each envelope had the exact same about of money in it, all in one dollar bills and change.
Then it hit me, these were Christmas envelopes, after a long day of cleaning houses my mom would take some of that money and split it evenly between those 5 envelopes. And she did this after every basket of laundry, after every dirty house, all year long. So by the time Christmas came, my mom could make the magic happen.
Though at the time I understood the process, I could not truly appreciate all her hard work, her sacrifices, and the things she did without until I was older. As I write this it still amazes me.
It was then that my happiness no longer came from the gifts, it came from knowing how much we were loved.
I hope the same for all of you, that your life is full of love and family.
I hope there is always food on your table and those you hold most dear are sitting around it.
I hope your home is warm and your heart is happy.
I hope as you look back you see happiness and as you look forward you see nothing but joy.
I hope... because hope is a lesson that my mom taught me.
In closing, a picture from a not to distant Christmas past... when my girls were believers... and they left goodies for the big guy and his reindeer.
Merry Christmas everyone.