Another Christmas has come and gone, but this one will remain strong in my memory long after the holiday season has passed.  This year was different from all the rest.  I had just sparks of Christmas spirit here and there, but managed to minimally decorate to join the traditional seasonal forces.  I shopped, cooked, baked, wrapped, travelled, visited and gave.  I attended a very nice impromptu Christmas Eve gathering and a small planned Christmas day dinner.

I am so happy and proud of my nephew who finished college this semester and is “officially an Economist”.  I am always happy to see both of my nephews, whom I love dearly, but don’t get to see them nearly enough.  I made it a point to see my brother, include my Uncle for Christmas Eve, have dinner with my mom and Aunt on Christmas day.  I coordinated schedules with my son to be sure he would share some family Christmas time between going to his dad’s and girlfriend’s.  I travelled back and forth to MA to accommodate schedules and parties.

When it’s all over and I reflect back, what sticks out most in my mind is not one single family member remembered my son.  Not one.  Not a card, gift, email, phone call, text, note, nothing.  That cuts me deeply.  He of course would never say anything.  He’s the quiet, non-assuming, non-expecting  quintessential type.  He spent Christmas Eve at his dad’s and came home with roaring stories full of laughter, well thought out gifts, and a feeling of Christmas that made him feel special.  He spent Christmas day with me, mom and Auntie and Christmas night at his girlfriend’s family’s house.  He came home delighted and happy.  I’m so happy they make him feel special and loved.  He loves all of them, and they clearly love him.   Of course it’s not about the gifts, but the feeling behind the gifts that someone actually spent a little time thinking of him and what would make him feel special on Christmas.  My son shopped for days, and I wrapped for hours to be sure everyone had a nice, perfectly wrapped gift. 

I said nothing about it because it seems I’m always apologizing to him for my family.  This isn’t the first time he’s been forgotten by my family, however, it is the first time everyone in my family forgot him, everyone but me.  I never forget my son.

And so, we move on to the New Year, with hopes that this year will be full of gifts from within that make us grow stronger and wiser.  Remember you cannot control adversity, but you can control how you handle it. 

Peace, love and warmth to all of you.  Pay it forward. 

Happy New Year.