The holiday season is officially upon us. Festive blinking lights are up and shining gingerly through the downfall of the thick white snow. Sales sully every toy aisle and store in town, and consumerism is running rampant.
It must be Christmas time!
So often with this time of year we set our focus on the gifts in which we would love to buy for one another, the gifts we will look forward to receiving and the presents stacked high under the evergreen propped up in our living room.
Believe me I too am one of these people. I love the thrill of opening a gift, the anticipation of what will be revealed once tearing back that shiny wrapping, and seeing the face of gratitude on someone when purchasing them a perfect present.
Giving makes me feel alive, and let’s not beat around the bush, receiving ain’t too bad either. The problem is, this time of year brings on a whole new load of stress. I stress about what to give people, I am filled with anxiety over what centerpiece the table should carry on our big Christmas day dinner, and the tension of Christmas shopping ruins me evermore!
And with all these stresses and strains, I become a mad woman.
A week or so ago a woman named Heather approached me on my blog site. She asked me to take a look at her website, and then write a blog post about something I was thankful for. Well I thought, ‘I suppose I am thankful for a lot of things.’
My home. Our ability to give the kids a good Christmas this year. The friends and family we will exchange our gifts with. Even though all of these things are stressing the hell out of me, I am still thankful for them.
See, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
That was, until I actually went and viewed this amazing woman’s site. All too soon my thoughts changed in a way I couldn’t have seen coming.
Heather has an 8 year old daughter named Lily. She has been married to Cam for 15 years. Heather was also diagnosed with mesothelioma 8 years ago. At that time she was given 15 months to live.
Heathers message is one of hope. “With hope, the odds don’t matter.”
Today, Heather is a survivor. She engages in public speaking on the matter and has begun this website to bring awareness of the rare form of cancer called, mesothelioma.
There are moments in life when an individual will cross your path. They will ever so gently make a move into your existence and you will be changed if not only in a small way forevermore. When Heather sent me her comment on my site, this exact change began to bubble inside of me.
So in answer to your request Heather, instead of spewing all of the material things I am thankful for today I would like to say that I am thankful for people like you.
I am thankful for the hope in which you so beautifully speak about. I am thankful for sanguinity and optimism. And I am grateful for the subtle touch of buoyancy that you and so many people like you have brought into a world that can sometimes be so harsh and unforgiving.
So this month of Christmas cheer, along with the gifts, the food, the booze (because let’s not kid ourselves right?) and the merriment I will also be giving thanks to all of those individuals out there who make this world a bit brighter.
It is so easy to focus on the material possessions we are thankful for, to pave a path filled with things and assets. And although I am truly grateful for the life my family and I have been given, I will also wilfully be thankful for the love and lustre that surrounds me each and every day.
Gratitude is a funny thing, sometimes we don’t realize what we are thankful for until the moment has passed. But sometimes, we can be given the chance to really reflect on the people we care about, the places that feel like home, and the overall feeling of hope in which others instill in us, and that is a gift worth writing about.
So during your holiday season this year, I challenge you to not only be thankful for the gifts you receive in stacks, but also keep close at mind the way these gift givers make you feel. Allow them to lift your spirits and really appreciate the laughter and mirth in which this time brings.
And in return, become the brightness in this world- Because the gift of hope, is one that will never be returned.
Please check out and share Heather’s story. It is beautiful, touching, but most of all it is chalk full of this thing we’ve been talking about called hope.