Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Thanks at Christmas

Tidings of Yule: ‘tis the season to be jolly.


Why do I have to be especially jolly in this particular season?
Why can’t I be jolly the rest of the year?  

Maybe this is a friendly recommendation?

Is it because we spent about a ¼ of my wife’s net annual salary on gifts and food?
Maybe because the daylight is like 15 minutes long, and overcast at that?
Possibly because come January 3rd, we’ll realize once again that this is the most exhausting time-off.
Is this really time-off?
Is it really exhausting?

So many questions.

Thanksgiving is now two months past – one month for my American friends – and we are yet again feasting aplenty.  

Where I come from, Thanksgiving is not a big family affaire. We give grace for the good food and thank the good Lord for out lot.  This is important and celebrated, but not as a gathering, at least not for me.  This is a personal time for me.

I’m not overly religious, not by a long shot, but I am spiritual and I do realize how lucky I am and how good I’ve got it… compared to others less fortunate.   Given my semi-constant state of depression, I do not often think I’m all that lucky.  When I stop to think about it, only then do I realize that I have been blessed.  Stopping to give thanks once a year is certainly not too often.  Lucky star, God, karma, fate, or whatever it may be for anyone, is irrelevant.  Our lot in life is what we give thanks against, the recipient is only to make us feel better about something bigger than we are.


There is an entity, much closer to us, for which we should give demonstrative thanks.  This is not a riddle.  
It is the friend.

Most of us are equipped with an assortment of friends when we are born.  They are usually called family.  This is a default situation for most.  They are friends nevertheless.  Sometimes we’ll not be so close to certain family members, as we choose our friends among them.  This is not to negate the default family ties.  Well, sometimes it is, but I digress.

By the same token, we will sometimes change our friends over time as well.  Some will drift away, or we’ll be blown apart by life’s twists.  Many will stay.  Others still will remain life-long even if we hardly ever see them.  So be it.

In the here and now, we hardly ever thank these people. Mind you, we never have to, but we should.  Often we feel too ill at ease to do so.  A low-risk opportunity is given us once a year, by Christian tradition among others, to thank our friends.  In the form of Jesus, an incarnation of maybe our greatest friend, we celebrate his birthday.  But he has no use for birthday gifts. Maybe this was meant as a symbolic transference.

A gift is a means to show our appreciation of someone.  This is why we keep coining the phrase “it’s the thought that counts”.  Not the remembering to get something, rather simply remembering who is important in our lives.

Something nice and luxurious is a-propos, as to a wife or husband or really anybody one loves deeply.  It’s a-propos but not necessary.  Odd isn’t it?  A quick phone call to wish merry Christmas to a far-flung friend can also be a wonderful gift.  Also, accepting a dinner invitation from your aunty and playing cards afterwards is a beautiful present.

And that, my friends, is where being jolly pays off!

Christmas gives us the opportunity to thank one another without feeling sappy.   But I encourage you to let sentimentality grab you this year. When bidding Merry Christmas to those in your party, give them a warm hug and whisper a heartfelt “thank you” in their ear.  And for those special few an “I love you” will do just fine.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Post a Comment

<< Home