1.08.2007

We’re in to the new year of 2007, but this one is about Christmas two weeks ago. For the first time in a long time, my family of four spent this Christmas in the company of my grandparents. My dad thought it would be a good idea to have them join us, and it was. It was great to spend that time with them. When Christmas morning came, this is how our typical routine went:
-My sister and I wake each other up and sit in front of the fireplace to open stockings.
-Once those festivities conclude, we indulge in a delicious breakfast that was prepared the night before.
-We eat, take things slow and enjoy the company of our family.
-We move ourselves back to the living room, take our seats, and read the Christmas story.
-Finally, one of us (usually my sister) shuffles out one gift to each person, once we all have one, we have at it and shred the paper to pieces. Express surprise and gratitude, and then pass out another gift to each person, continuing until all the gifts are safely moved from under the tree into the appropriate person’s possession.
…Familiar to some, foreign to others. Either way, that’s how we do things.
My grandparents however, who are use to having stockings for each other and usually one gift each because ‘it’s all we really need’ claims my Granny. Needless to say, the amount of gifts they received was almost too much for them to handle. They couldn’t believe everyone was getting as many gifts as they did; them especially. Overall, the weekend was great. As we drove back to the city to take my grandparents back, they continued to show their appreciation for the hospitality and gifts. We arrived back at their place in the evening. The lights out, the heat off, just the way they had left it. Until into the shadows my granny squinted to clear her vision as she detected something that wasn’t there before. A large red bow stretched across the front of a brand new television sitting in the place of where there old-school tube sat. She gasped and hollered to her husband ‘George! We have a new TV! We have a new TV!’ it must have been repeated 8 times. She just couldn’t believe it. We all joined the two of them in their family room, as they tried to figure out how this foreign object made its way into their house. To let you in the loop, my dad and uncle had been planning it for a while and got it installed while they were at our place for the Christmas weekend.

What’s the point, besides telling you a detailed story of my Christmas? Well, you really had to see them. You have to try and imagine their reaction. Two 80+ grandparents who are use to watching only the news, golf, and children’s shows on their 3-channel TV that had lines scrolling up the static-filled screen. They just dealt with it; they had no reason to spend money on a new TV and definitely no desire to purchase cable. To walk in to their home and be greeted by a gift such as this left them speechless. And to tell you the truth, this TV is not a 60” top of the line Sony. It was a flat screen, clear enough to watch their shows, and just big enough so that they could see the image easily. My grandparents were overwhelmed with this gift. They were so thankful, grateful, appreciative, and any other word that means the same thing. I admired the way they just couldn’t contain their... well... appreciation, for lack of another word. I don’t think I could ever be that happy with a gift. I think I take so much for granted, and fail to recognize the beauty of everything and everyone’s importance in my life. How do we develop the same mindset as my grandparents right now? How do we get passed everything available to us right outside our front door and see what is true, real, and right here. What do you appreciate? Who are you thankful everyday for? Where do your priorities lie? What blessings in your life leave you overwhelmed?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ben,
What are you planning to do with your life? The things that you write are so inspiring it makes me sick. The way you put your words on a page is actually readable, interesting, captivating...this is being said from me...I don't read, but I can't stop reading this. You have a true gift. USE IT. DO SOMETHING WITH THIS. Don't let this tallent go unused or un noticed.
Keep up the good work Ben
Love: Amanda

joy said...

agreed! (to amanda's comment)

continue to challenge yourself with those thoughts... but don't just challenge yourself with them, let them change you. that's such an awesome story.