What did you get this Christmas?

It’s the middle of the afternoon on Christmas Eve. I am sitting in my living room, with my Christmas tree lights on, and my scented Christmas candles burning. Music plays softly in the background, and the air is cool after a rainstorm that is typical here in Singapore this time of year.

It’s one of the rare moments when I have some quiet time to myself, and the house is as quiet as it will ever get. I am used to the usual sounds of my home – a meowing cat, a scratching dog, the hubby calling out about something or other, and the son, who is home from Oxford for Christmas, playing some music or computer game in his room.

I feel rich, because everything that I want is here with me. And I, no – my soul – wants to take the time to savour it.

We spent the last few weeks running errands, preparing for my son’s return for the holidays, shopping for Christmas, completing year-end tasks, as well as getting things ready for when my son has to fly off again in the first week of the new year. Tonight we’ll be having a family dinner at my sister’s home, but for now, for just these couple of hours, my time is my own. And it is bliss.

So I am taking the opportunity to open the gifts of spirit that I have received this year:

Good health. Never mind the usual bouts of flu and even a couple of cases of food poisoning. Not living in fear of falling victim to disease, sickness and death has strengthened my constitution like nothing else can.

Family. The good, the bad and yes, even the ugly. For in spirituality, it isn’t true that one can choose one’s friends but not one’s family. I chose every person in my family before I incarnated in this life – just as they chose to have me in theirs. And each of us has a particular role to play for the highest good of one another.

Friends and foes. Yes, they belong in the same category. Because, like family, my friends and foes are fellow souls who volunteered to either raise me up or push me down in order to challenge and help me to discern right from wrong, good from bad; and to provide me opportunities galore to forgive, to love without conditions attached and, in so doing, gain enough inner wisdom and compassion to grow in both spirit and stature.

The evening sun is now streaming in through the windows, and my music disc has stopped playing. The cats are stirring, as they know it’s time for their dinner. And then it will be the dogs’ turn.

How quickly time has flown. My little breather is over.

Tomorrow, on Christmas Day, I will open my physical presents under the tree. But right now, I open my heart to receive and give thanks for the truly amazing gifts of the spirit that I have been blessed with.

May you also find time to discover and appreciate all the gifts that you have been given.

Blessed Christmas, everyone.


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