After all the madness of the 'silly season', it's hard to believe that today's already the 28th of December and that Christmas day, a day that retailers have been promoting non-stop since mid September already, has all but come and gone too quickly.
This year, Christmas didn't turn out quite how I imagined it would. When I was younger, Christmas was something magical. It was exciting going for an outing to the mall, eating far too much food and opening way too many presents. The days of waking up at 4am and sleeping next to the Christmas tree, of our family getting up early (their 'early' was 8am) to open presents, and of swimming and watching the cricket after lunch, are some of the fondest memories I have of Christmas day.
Someone posted a status on Facebook recently that read, "What does Christmas mean to you?", and it got me thinking. My answer to that question is simple. It's family. Family is what Christmas means to me, family and not much else. Not the presents, not the huge Christmas lunch and certainly not the over-commercialized items in the shopping malls (online shopping next year!). I realise now that I could very well have spent Christmas next to a hospital bed this year.
Though a simple procedure, it definently was a wake up call.
Because of the operation, we weren't able to spend the day with our family as we do every year, and it really made me realise how many small things I'd been taking for granted. Sure, I thank God every day for my family, but I don't say thank you for the small things like having a healthy husband who can look after me, or for having a brother who drives an hour and a half in sweltering heat and holiday traffic just to say 'hi', or for parents who have my back no matter what choices (impulsive or otherwise) I make, or for a Grandmother who I can still talk to about what happened in 7de Laan the other night!
I am truly blessed. Christmas was different this year, but I am very grateful that it was. At the risk of sounding like a cliche, I fully agree with the phrase, "treat each day as a gift". It really and truly is.