I save Christmas cards, thank you notes, and sometimes birthday cards. I store the cards each year in a Christmas ornament box. My husband never brings down the same Christmas boxes from the attic. It’s his way of protesting the task. This husband and wife negotiation game has lead to a ritual for me. I reread the cards from whatever year or box my husband randomly selects as I decorate the Christmas tree. (I like to put up the tree on my son’s birthday, December the ninth.) I keep the cards because my friends and colleagues remind me to be kind to myself, laugh, and enjoy where I am in life.
My friends make me smile because they are clever, sincere, and talented. They forgive my tendency to create constantly. I’m a planner; it’s easy to lose track of the now as I organize and visualize tomorrow, but today I want to reflect back to the past..
I discover some ornaments my children made in elementary school, a clay Santa Claus with his hat broken off and a card shown above taken from a box marked 1998. It is a card sent from the other side of the world, China, to me from Lin Fei, a friend. She continues to teach me many things about humanity probably without realizing. Every news story about China comes to me from the perspective of us, not them.
“Bah, humbug,” you might say. This is what I know: I taught myself to deal with being shy as a kid by realizing we are all a little scared to take the first or next step–of being humiliated. Ah-hah. This idea could apply to nations. I challenge each of you to drop your assumptions about a neighbor or acquaintance and reach out this week to another human being. Be surprised.
I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays at the close of 2017, but more importantly I wish you abundance of spirit, right now.