The gifts that came before Christmas

It’s Christmas once again in Kailua. Our small scraggly tree was brought down from the attic and decorated. The ribbons and wrapping paper came out of storage. The Mrs Claus dress was laundered. The seasonal DVDs magically appeared next to the TV. We smiled while watching The Grinch and cried at the end of Miracle on 34th street. We thoroughly enjoyed both versions of A Christmas Carol (This one and This one). We’ve baked bought gingerbread cookies and have made tea as the temperatures plummeted to the low 60s.
An abundance of gifts dressed in sparkly outfits shimmer under the twinkle of our Christmas lights. A few name tags bear my name and I am eager to discover what’s inside the boxes.

Yet I know that the best gifts don’t come wrapped in a box. It may sound cliche but it’s true.
As 2016 comes to an end, I want to acknowledge all the gifts that have already come my way.

This year, I received the gift of health. At 40, I feel better than ever. I have a 6 year old full of energy and a husband who has recovered from total colectomy surgery. There is nothing I hoped for more than his health and comfort and it’s been wonderful to watch him get better month after month.

This year, I received the gift of accomplishment. I set up a goal to write and I exceeded my own expectations. I’ve published one new essay every week since I started my blog in 04/2016. That’s 45 essays so far. Popular bloggers I’ve followed for years like Jamie Martin, Sarah McKenzie and Pam Barnhill shared some of them with their audience via social media spotlights. I even got paid for the ones that were featured on, a gathering place for deliberate mothers. (this one and this one)
It is quite an amazing feeling to stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and find a better you on the other side.

This year I received the gift of improvement. I earned my Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Never in a million years did I ever consider this possible yet it happened. Training consistently paid off. It still came as quite a surprise. A delightful surprise.

This year, I received the gift of travel. We visited Japan for the second time. My daughter lost her first tooth there. We flew to L.A and made it to Disneyland for a magical day with extended family. Her second tooth fell as we dined on vegetable kabobs in Adventureland.

This year I received the gift of friendship. Old relationships were strengthened. New relationships have blossomed. It is my privilege to go through life alongside such smart, fun and intentional mothers.

Photo of Kailua Beach, Hawaii

This year I received the gift of the most beautiful day I have ever seen at the beach near our house. I felt pure joy that day. Complete unity with this big beautiful ocean and the bright blue sky under which it glimmered. A moment in time that will stay with me forever.

This year I received the gift of time. Time that passes. Seconds that became minutes. Hours that turned into days, the days of my life. A good life.

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

“God bless us Everyone!”

Next week’s essay is titled “I can’t right now, I’m too busy procrastinating”. Subscribe using the widget below and it will be in your inbox when it gets published. Thank you for reading.

Don’t miss a post!