It's Christmas. The time of year where we run around buying things for others, sometimes with great thought and care and sometimes we buy in haste because we don't know what to get, or quite honestly just want to cross them off our list, or to have something, anything to give to them. It's the time of year where stores are crazy, drivers are impatient and the lines for everything are long. We stress ourselves out as we lose sight of what really matters.
My babysitter's mother died last night. It was sudden and unexpected. I remember her telling me a few weeks ago of how they shopped together over the previous weekend and her mom bought all of her four grandchildren lavish gifts which was somewhat out of character for her to do. I can only imagine what it will be like for them open those presents without her present to see their reactions. They will rather be left with a void. Their grandmother won't be there to hug and thank or to even reciprocate the surprise to.
My mom and I went to New York City a few weeks ago as a belated birthday trip. Hers not mine. It was lovely to be just the two of us without any distractions of kids or life in general. I asked her what it was like as a parent to leave my 22 year old smarter-than-you-can-imagine self in New Jersey to start a new phase of my life as a working girl in NYC? We laughed at my insane phone calls home, especially the time when I had locked myself out of my apartment and was on a pay phone near teenaged boys beating themselves up with baseball bats. Oh how smart I was; crying on a pay phone and wanting to be anywhere but where I was. Character building moments, right?
I am grateful for that day in NYC, even though it was crowded and crazy, it was fun.
We ate at a french restaurant with snooty service which I chalked up to part of the NYC experience. We wandered through crowded places like Anthropologie, the Union Square Holiday Market, Bryant Park and Grand Central. We went on The Ride and the whole bus sang Happy Birthday to her.
My mom always made Christmas a big deal. It was magical and special with strong traditions. Our holidays were built on family, surprises, and togetherness (with of course the right amount of crazy shopping days).
Remember the love you have, not the stuff you have. Live without regret.