I am not a big fan of Christmas. But this year I loved it!
Selfishly, I did not have to share my family with anyone. We did not have to drive for four to five hours and sleep in one or the other parents house and hope that we were not upsetting someone. We did not have to do lunch here, breakfast there and dinner somewhere else. We did not feel like we were possessions being tossed, pulled or shoved.
We had the privilege of being a family at home in our own home; just the four of us and Charlie the dog.
We were supposed to be joined by some friends (who we knew wouldn't) because they are far too selfish and wanted us to come to their house. We have young children who want to enjoy their toys, their children are grown up and we spent 13 years at their house for Christmas. Besides since they both have lost a licence for DUI it really doesn't even require a discussion for them of who is designated driver!
Alas we were the bigger people and went to their boxing day party and unlike them I brought my children and taught them how to behave. My girls have manners and know how to act. Their teenagers have no manners, no graciousness and certainly are not grateful or respectful. Not even a thank you for the little gift the girls bought them. These are teens who can't make their own lunch, tea or breakfast and can't even cook toast! What hope is there for them in the real world? The evening was pierced with ungrateful comments about the very flashy coffee maker in their kitchen.
"I wanted a juicer! Does this look like a juicer?"
"I only drink flat white, not fancy coffee, why would I want this?"
The fact that these two have the most toxic of relationships makes the above discourse seem friendly, but the sheer lack of gratitude astounds me.
Moving on to the next bunch of ungrateful people - in laws! We bought them a calendar of the girls, some doublemint gum which you have not been able to get for years and they used to use at tennis all the time and they had extra large gifts for their birthdays this year, which was also to form part of their Christmas gifts. Several hundred dollars worth! Apparently though, that was not good enough.
Really! These are people who have everything and need nothing. Again where is the gratitude for the thought? I thought of many of my clients who would be alone, sick, lonely, hungry or harming themselves, wouldn't they love to have any of this? I sometimes wonder if they are not in some ways better off for never having had any of the wealth which brings this ungrateful behaviour to the fore!
Me, well I was spoilt. I have my family back and that in itself is enough. I finally got a Wii and well it is harder than I thought! I also now have a new sound dock as my children have commandeered my Bose sound dock in their bedroom.
I heard from my sister in law, just a text. But I was glad to know she is okay and my mother in law and her husband cooked her lunch on her birthday.
We have money saved and gifted to do some concreting of one shed floor. We caught up with friends and it was a great relaxed time.
I appreciate the time I had with my family and our friends who came to join us later. The joy in seeing our girls and their little mate Jackson rip through the house and backyard and have a ball jumping on the new trampoline (which by the way was easy to put up!). The house was easy to tidy and the kids hardly made a mess, which is in itself another gift!
So as the year comes to a close an my journey is travelling in a positive direction, I would like to take the time to wish you a Happy New Year. May it be safe and filled with hope.
If the past year has not been what you want, create yourself a better year. Take charge of your destiny, steer the carriages the way you want them to go.
Will I travel this way next year? Well who knows.....with a masters degree in process and a Managerial position requiring systemic change and data analysis and political pushing, I may not have time. However, the Gratitude Train has helped me get back on track and I hope that if you are off course that you too will find your way.