Lying in bed this morning, dreading to come out from under the blankets as my little apartment gets so cold during the night (it was in the low 20s last night!), I started remembering one of the very first Christmas I spent in the States.
Many years ago, I spent a few months at my friend Lisa’s house. Being jewish, she was not planning on celebrating Christmas but what she did that Christmas morning left me with very fond memories. First of all, it probably was my very first white Christmas: I remember waking up on the futon in the playroom and as I peaked outside, I discovered that it had been snowing all night and it simply was so wonderful to see all that snow…
When I went upstairs, Lisa had brought a tree branch from outside and set it in front of the fireplace with a few ribbons here and there and maybe some Christmas lights she had in the house. Next to the branch, there was a little present for me. In that moment, I remember feeling loved and also feeling so thankful that my friend would have had the thoughtfulness to celebrate my holiday even though it was not hers. Her present to me was a pair of gloves and I cherished them for many years because I felt that this present truly came from her heart and to this day, I remember it as the sweetest present I ever received.
I think that moment has influenced the way I think about presents ever since: it really is not about how much money you spend or even about size or quantity. It is about being thoughtful and picking the present that shows that you care and that will make someone feel loved and appreciated.
Today, I am going Christmas shopping and my goal truly is to spread the love.