All I Want for Christmas

The season of gift giving and list making.  Snow glistening on the roads.  Bells ringing from the carols playing from my radio.  Drivers  distracted and traffic crushing my time schedule.  Trying to convince my sons to go to bed when told and play nicely with others so that Santa keeps them on the “good” list and off the “naughty” one.  I am reeling with the chaos of the holiday season.  Yet, this morning, a story on our local news made me realize what I really want for Christmas.

A mother, about the same age as I am most likely, youthful yet motherly in the face, sat with tears in her eyes, grateful tears.  She was retelling the horrible news she had received when her teenaged son was seriously injured in a car accident on the way to school a couple months ago.  Several of the boys were just released from the hospital, some still with casts, bandages; all have deep, ragged scars, some visible on the outside .  She said that she will never again take for granted her family.  My heart leaps into my stomach when I imagine that tragedy finding my loved ones.

I wrap myself too tightly in the daily chores of life, running from work to school, from errand to errand, from making dinner to paying bills, trying to keep the family’s schedule on track and fitting in nutritious meals and clean laundry on a regular basis.  I forget to appreciate the precious minutes of life.  Reading to my sons before bed.  Listening to them share at the dinner table about their games on the playground or their lands of “make believe” in the living room.  Giving kisses hello and good-bye.

I don’t need a tragedy to help me realize the importance of my family.  All I need is to take a deep breath and watch the moments of life unfold around me each day so that I can horde the memories for playback later when my life isn’t so hectic.  My mother always told me never to wish my life away.  All I want for Christmas is the patience to cherish every minute and the will to make it so.