Every year there are so many tasks that must be completed before Christmas; I have to remind myself why we celebrate this season. It is not the gifts. Commercialism is king this time of year, and we seem to believe that if we are able to receive that special gift, life will have a new meaning. The meaning that we are searching for cannot be found in any material gift.
Simple gifts are the most meaningful and listening to Mama talk about making her special Christmas cookies, a treat that no bakery can compete with, is the type of gift that I will look for this year. Watching Daddy smile and waiting for those few moments of clarity, are his gift to me this year. A daughter calling me to make plans for our annual get together is a gift. A husband that smiles because his favorite baked goods are on our table is a gift. These are the gifts that I want to receive, and can’t think of a single packaged gift that would make me happier. Perhaps Alzheimer’s has provided a different perspective on life.
This year life is different, I am not able to see the future but know that next year will probably be different again. These changes are out of my control; however the choice to enjoy this Christmas and its gifts remain in my control.
Atticus has a place in the gift giving. Atticus has chosen not to destroy our Christmas tree, instead he sits underneath, guarding it, preventing an attack. Maybe he remembers last year, and his now tarnished reputation. Atticus choosing not to destroy the tree is his gift to me. It is very much appreciated, even if his antics are often the inspiration for this column.
Whether it is because I am older, or the daily struggle with Alzheimer’s that my family endures, this year we are choosing to cherish the gifts that are not wrapped. My gifts this year are the time I have left with my Daddy, Mama’s cooking, time spent with loved ones, the daily adventures with these animals, and the most meaningful gift given to mankind, the real reason for this season. The original Christmas gift, Jesus, is the most important reason to celebrate this Christmas.