Mostly cloudy days here in NYC with moderately cold temperature which feels pleasant to the skin and makes it easy to go around in the city though daylight grows shorter and outside the window the world is duller but the promise of holidays as we walk across the pavements is lighting up the store windows.
I went down to American Two Shot with Aaliyah; we grabbed our java and browsed through the latest collections. It is amazing as this time of the year is best to indulge in the shopping spree with heaps of offers everywhere.
Aaliyah went bonkers over the stalls laden with traditional ornaments, warming scents of yuletide delicacies that waft gently towards you and delicate lights that twinkle all around. The Christmas market here will make the heart of even the grouchiest grinch grow three sizes. We bought gifts for our families and enjoyed the generous Santa streak coming up in our hearts. We are both looking forward to the family dinner on the Christmas Eve. Aaliyah loves to be around my folks.
One of the store owners is my friend. He was slouched on his chair at the counter and smiled faintly at me as I walked in his store, he is in late sixties and his sons and daughters are all busy in their lives and families now, his wife passed away a few years back. He has been sending Christmas greetings to his children and grandchildren for a long time now. The memorabilia is acknowledged but always accompanies an excuse and a promise of making up for the absence in the following year.
Looking at his pale eyes I understood what it meant, once again he will set his dinner table, light his candles, say his prayers, and decorate his Christmas tree all by himself. He will pack the gifts, hang the stockings but there will be no one to unwrap or enjoy the surprises at home. Once again he will treat the neighborhood kids. One more holiday season will be spent missing his family and waiting on them to surprise visit him.
He looked at me and said, “Bob, why don’t you help me select the greetings for my children, may be this time I see them, may be.” It tugged at my heart-string and I sat with him to choose the greetings and invitations to send his message to his children and make them come home to dine with him. Words of love and a plea emerged from his heart.
All he wanted was to hear the chortles of his grandchildren and hug his children once again to feel the true Christmastime cheer. With mist in his eyes he thanked me as I got up to go. A prayer rose in my heart.
Family is more than a promise of selfless love and acceptance; it is the ground beneath our wings. This is the perfect time to be thankful for your family and create memories of love and togetherness. Come home to the love and joy which is the real gift and offering stacked by God just for you. Come home to your family this Christmas !
Love & Joy,