The Best Gifts

December23

D sings a made up song every year on this day “It’s the night before, the night before Christmas” and we are all prepared. When I say “prepared” I mean that the groceries are bought, some dishes have been premade and are in the freezer and gifts are bought and wrapped (mostly). But what I really mean is that our hearts are ready for Emanuel (God with us). I am contemplating this gift this morning and I cannot help but reflect on all the other ones that I have received recently.

The Gift of Age

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I was so blessed when so many friends joined me to celebrate a momentous birthday. Thank you D and my family for all of your hard work. It was a memorable day in absolutely every way. A special thanks to my Toronto Bestie who has been in my heart for decades.

The Gift of Work

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Everyday is new and exciting and full of learning. The work that I do is creative, satisfying and rewarding, not only in a monetary way but because of the rich relationships that I have with suppliers, clients and comrades.

The Gift of Friendship

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I have often shared in this space that Sisters #2 and #3 are my best friends and I cherish that. This year though I have drawn closer to three girlfriends. We lunch together and drink wine together and share our joys and sorrows. Their perseverance and support has been an amazing gift this year.

The Gift of Family

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In the next few days I get to spend time with most of my whacky 35 member family. We will assemble Christmas morning at my Mom’s personal care home for brunch and gift opening. There will lots of hugs and laughter (and eating).

The Gift of Travel

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Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I would rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of stuff and that is so true. In 2015 I have traveled to Vancouver, Seattle, Isla Mujeres, Montreal (twice), New York and Tuscany. I got to stay and visit with people I love, learn new things, see new things and just “be” in so many lovely places.

The Gift of Community

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We are blessed with wonderful neighbours who fetch our mail and snow blow our parking spots. Our little house of 20+ years is the now the perfect size. We sit in our lawn chairs out front for an evening glass of wine (in summer) and visit with many on the street. We do our small part in creating a better Winnipeg and I am inspired by our mayor and chief of police.

The Gift of Freedom

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Even with the effects of terror being felt around the world, I am vigilant but never afraid when we travel. I love Canada more than ever with a loving family man as our leader and his open and tender heart. D and I have been registered and hope to provide temporary housing for Syrian refugees in the months ahead.

The Gift of Health

I have had a bumpy ride in this department this autumn but I am empowered to get out and walk, get to the gym and focus on healthy whole foods that I have the time to prepare and the wealth to purchase.

The Gift of Peace

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Through the bumpy ride mentioned above, I was filled with a peace that passed all understanding. I was grateful that my “bad” news didn’t feel bad at all when placed alongside all the things that it “could” have been. I am blessed with extra doses of peace when I watch falling snow, spend time at the lake or gaze at the turquoise sea of Isla Mujeres.

The Gift of Joy

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Oh my goodness! My family and The Wee One are my constant sources. Yesterday I belly laughed with my almost 89 year old Mom over one of her “witticisms” and then watched The Wee One shake it up in the aisle when I took her to a live play. We cannot restrain our joy as we watch her sister growing inside J2’s belly and can’t wait for the birth of our second granddaughter in the new year.

The Gift of Love

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Love is all around. This autumn I have known a special outpouring from friends new and old and constantly from my family. And then there is D. Even though I have aches and pains, white hair roots and new creases on my face, he loves me the same way as he did when none of these things existed. No, he loves me more and in such a respectful and accepting way. He kisses me the moment he awakes, patiently endures my ranting while watching Jets games and constantly plans new adventures for us to share. He truly is the most amazing Daddy, Poppa and Husband. I chose well.

And so this Christmas, I hope one thing: that you get the time to reflect on all the gifts that you have received this year.

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Love-that is all.

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