Heartwings says, “There are many sorts of gifts, yet all speak of love.”
In days gone by when my children were small and December 25th was something of a big production, by that evening everyone was satisfied to play with his or her toys, eat the festival leftovers and chill out. It was then that I would take my guitar in hand and drive with it to the local hospital to play for the patients. I was a regular volunteer there so I would don my pink volunteer jacket and go around to the wards and private rooms to play Christmas music together with my usual folk tunes.
I felt as though with all the visitors having gone home by then the patients could use a bit of cheering up. After all, the visitors were going back to their families and friends while the patients were still in their rooms or wards and perhaps more aware of being there than usual. It was heartening to see the welcoming smiles on their faces and to receive their enthusiastic approval. More than once someone who had been relatively comatose would actually clap their hands and even manage a smile.
Today my children are grown and gone and my family is for the most part scattered far and wide. Holidays are quieter. Nor do I play my guitar any longer, though next year I hope to have learned some carols on my new harp. However, I don’t expect to be singing them in a hospital. Life brings changes, some welcome, some not so. The memories of holidays past become gifts to cherish, more so perhaps than any other gifts beneath the tree.
The presents have been opened, our holiday meal consumed and I find myself looking back over past celebrations. I note familiar faces that have moved on. Some still walk this earth others do not. I am reminded of the places where I have lived and see again the rooms and homes that hold my memories of those holiday times. Each year holds its blessings. I am grateful for each and every one, and most of all I am grateful to be able to celebrate with joy the love that flows to me from those who each year continue to remember me.
May your celebrations be filled with joy.
Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert