Being of German origins, my family and I like to follow the old tradtions and celebrate Christmas on the eve of the 24th. I stayed up late yesterday wrapping the last of the gifts, polishing the silver and ensuring that everything would be ready by today. It is now nearly four o'clock. The tree is up, the table is set and delicous food smells are wafting out of the kitchen. Time to take a moment to be with myself and reflect. I have, therefore, poured a glass of wine, made a toast with peanut butter and taken that unlikely combination to the living room to just sit still and listen to the things inside my head and heart.
I am grateful for so many things, not the least of which is my family's continued good health, especially that of my 80-something mother. I am grateful for my husband who, although exhausted after a particularly hard year at work, never complains and always smiles lovingly when I ask something of him. Truly an angel among us, even if he does shrink things when he attempts to do laundry. I am especially grateful, more so with every passing year, for loyal friends both old and new who enrich my existence beyond measure as we face life's hurdles together.
And this year I am savouring another blessing, which is that feuding families can be reunited, even after three decades.
Sipping my wine I give myself a virtual pat on the shoulder because I was instrumental in the reunion of my own family. It likely never would have happened if I had not swallowed my pride and sent out an invitation which was accepted and thus started the ball rolling back in September.
How many families are not talking to one another at this very moment because of petty differences, because of false pride or because of pure stubborness?
Fundamentally, we all want the same thing. To be respected, to have our voice heard, our feelings validated. We can't change history or create world peace but we can ensure that our families practices a little goodwill.
That is my holiday wish today as I munch the last of my toast. That everyone makes an effort to begin the process of making sure their families are in the best working order possible. It just takes one gesture to open your heart. And if there are left-over bad feelings, I pray they can be put aside just long enough for goodwill to make forgiveness possible.