Baby boomer Diane Stover of Mount Airy, Maryland, says that many of the lessons she has learned in life “were learned the hard way, but that has made me who I am today.” Judging from what she has written for BoomerCafé, we could all stand to learn a few things “the hard way.”
Children look forward to Christmas morning for 364 days. There are other special occasions, like birthdays, Easter, or some special accomplishment, that might warrant special acknowledgments, special gifts, but Christmas is the grand finale!
With promises of “wait until Christmas,” all of the advertising both on TV and in stores, the children’s wants grow day by day. Such hopes and expectations are placed on that one special day whose real purpose is lost to commercialism.
Was that wonderful gift that you received everything you expected? Probably not, at least not for long. Was the package of much-needed new underwear appreciated? Definitely not, nor the school supplies used to fill the stocking.
Once the day comes and goes, some wishes fulfilled, other wishes left unfilled, the paper is cleaned up, dinner is served, and it’s on to the next occasion.
After the tree is taken down, everything is back to the routine and Christmas is forgotten for the year. When you are a child, then again when you have children of your own, your holiday season is consumed with fulfilling everybody’s wishes and expectations. You forget your own needs and what is really important.
The most important gifts are the intangible gifts that are never-ending and cannot be bought. Some are not what you expect, others are wonderful surprises that leave you with a warm feeling and a smile on your face. For me, my life is the gift. It cannot be replaced, returned, or duplicated. So is yours.
It has taken many years, I won’t say how many, but I now realize that every morning is a gift. Not some mornings, but every morning. Like birthdays, try not having one!
The sunrise, with its beautiful colors. The gray sky with its shades of gray contrasting to the earth and that occasional Red Cardinal that stands out like a beacon, saying “Look at me.” The birds that start singing just before dawn, proclaiming the beauty that is coming. Even if we don’t see a sunrise, they know it’s still there. These are gifts.
The nip in the air when the seasons start changing from fall to winter. It lets you know you are still alive and can feel. These are all presents because without them there would be no life.
My Christmas sunrise is every morning. The expectations of what the day will bring is like waiting to unwrap the gifts under the tree. Each one becomes more precious. Do not waste them; live them!
May everyone be as blessed as I am. May you have a warm place to live, food on the table, good friends to share your laughter and tears, and a sunset that brings you a promise and hope for tomorrow’s sunrise.