It’s been a long time since I’ve been to church but this morning that is precisely where I’ve been. Each year the kid’s School holds a carol service and up until now I’ve always been working during that day and have therefore been unable to attend. With things being a little different work wise this year I was finally able to go along and to join in with the children as they sang along to a range of carols, listened to the Christmas story, played on their recorders, lit their Christingle candles and generally melted my heart.
Thankfully I held the emotions from seeping out although I was fully prepared with a bag full of tissues and spare eyeliner just incase my hormones should get the better of me. Neither of my children actually noticed my presence nor their Nana’s until the very end of the carol service when they were walking out.
Should the kids have locked eye contact with me before this I’m fairly sure that I would have shed a tear or two, it’s that damned ‘Away in a Manger’ that tips me over the edge each and every time. I blame my Mother as she spent most of my childhood years sobbing along to carols and somehow it seems to have rubbed off on me especially so since having children of my own.
With only hours to go before the children finally finish for the Christmas holidays I am spending the last of the ‘peace and quiet’ enjoying a little time to myself before the Christmas chaos hits. This afternoon Paul and J are off out to the cinema leaving us ladies to entertain ourselves, I’m not sure what we are doing as of yet but there’s mince pies to be made and as they wont make themselves I guess we will be donning our aprons and getting crafty in the kitchen.
I love this time of year, seeing all the kids so excited and being in the know that come Christmas day our little ones will be screaming with glee as they rip the wrapping paper from their piles of presents. We are so fortunate to have such wonders as Christmas gifts, dinner and festivities when there are parts of the World who have next to nothing, those who are suffering, those who are alone, those whom are fighting for their lives or their country, it’s certainly worth considering when your wrapped up warm filling your face with festive food and your heart with Christmas cheer.
I guess going to church helps me to reflect upon those who don’t have all that we have, it’s also a stern reminder that we should be grateful for all that we have rather than spending our time wishing for more.
Way back when I was being made redundant (for the third time in my life) someone once said to me “Look for the silver lining, if you have family, friends and your health then nothing else really matters”. At the time I wasn’t entirely convinced that their words spoke truth as I was too busy panicking about finances, practicalities and material rubbish. I understood the sentiment but didn’t really appreciate the message being given to me back then as I was clouded by concern.
Looking back she was right, there was a silver lining to my black cloud. That silver lining came in the form of time, time isn’t money as money cannot buy time with your children, nor can it buy the love and the experience of watching your little ones as they grow up. Really I had been handed a gift, the gift of time and later I was handed another gift as we found out that we were expecting our daughter E.
Thanks to having ‘time’ I was then able to spend time caring for and looking after our little lady as she too grew up, I am so thankful that I could be there throughout the baby days, the toddlerhood and recently as she started School.
I may not have been well off, I may not have had all the material goods that those around me seemed to have but I had my children, I had my family and I had my friends. Without those people, without that time it would have been an entirely different story.
I may not be where I wish to be at present in terms of my career, I may not have a brand new car, a brand new kitchen, sparkling windows or a bank balance to boast about. None of those really matter though in the grand scheme of life, they aren’t necessary or of importance, I only wish I knew then what I know now.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that Christmas is a time to reflect, a time to give thanks for all that we have and a time to share our wealth, our happiness, our respect and our love for all those around us and that’s precisely what I plan to do over the next couple of weeks as we celebrate Christmas together as a family.