Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nothing and Everything

I feel this year like I have nothing. I have no cards to send out, no presents to wrap and give away, and no plans for holiday parties or Christmas celebrations. Ric and I are still unemployed, temp work barely pays the bills, and we can't afford to spend money we don't have. What little family I have is scattered across the country. Most of my local friends are traveling elsewhere for Christmas, and my long-distance friends are, unfortunately, still a long distance from me. Yep, it reads like a whole lot of nothing.

And yet, I also feel like I have everything. As I type this post, my husband is in the kitchen working frantically to get a gingerbread house made from scratch. Why? Because I said earlier today that I thought it might be fun on Christmas Eve to invite a friend or two over to the house and make something for the holiday. I asked him, "what do you know about a gingerbread house?" He said he didn't know anything, but he would figure it out. And he did. He has spent hours tonight making the basic shape, so tomorrow evening we can all decorate it with candy and frosting and drink too much wine and eggnog and laugh too much at how silly we all are. My simple request became his quest, to give me the one thing I asked for this Christmas. I have everything because I have such a husband.

I have everything because my friends, be they nearby or far away, would still move time and tide to be by my side if I was in need. They love me and worry about me and make me feel like I can do anything in this world. My friends are my foundation and my strength, my roots and my wings. There just isn't anything to be bought that could ever mean as much as true friendship.

I have everything because the family I do have is in good health and high spirits this holiday season. We have all struggled through so much this year, but we go on. Others are without family, but I am blessed to have my grandfather, mother and step-father, brother and sister-in-law, uncles and aunts, and cousins. It's such a simple statement that means so much: I have my family.

I have everything because my own rough times are still miles away from the true struggles that others endure. Each day, I have a roof over my head, food to eat, warm clothes to wear, and people to worry and pray for me. I have the safety and security of my own place in this world, made better by those who love me.

Yes, this Christmas, I will feel blessed and be grateful for all that I have. I will remind myself that I have everything. And I will laugh and smile and even shed a happy tear or two.

Merry Christmas to everyone, near and far. Please know that you are in my heart now and throughout the year.