I have some of my favourite Christmas ‘collectibles’ on the mantelpiece. There is a Very Canadian Moose lying on his side admiring the sitting room, a Santa in a wizard’s hat, two glittery angels, a jolly Santa, a clutch of cranberry scented candles and the obligatory tinsel hanging about. At the base of the hearth the Holy Family nativity scene. Slowly our house is being transformed into a wonderland as I recover from unplanned and unexpected surgery.
This was going to be the Christmas I was going to make an accordion folded paper wreath and a bowl of sugar fruit (did you know you can use marshmallow powder instead of raw egg to coat the fruit with sugar?). This time last year Christmas cards had been posted, gifts had been bought and wrapped and all I had to worry about was putting up the tree on the 15th and the Christmas Day menu. This year I find myself woefully behind and perhaps a tad neglectful of others but unashamedly and happily ensconced in my bedroom. I have a lot to be grateful for: the surgery was uncomplicated and I should be up and about by mid-week; I am getting through my mountain of must-read books YAY! (doing very nicely – only one hundred and fifty two books left); keeping up with reading my favourite blogs (kind of) and watching Christmas romances and dramas on television (I know I know, but I am sucker for those badly acted but delightfully sweet movies). My family (bless them) keep me hydrated with cups of tea and smiling with boxes of chocolate (what else really can a woman ask for?) ….um, maybe fresh flowers. Just saying ;-)
The lightning-strike suddenness of my medical emergency reminded me of how easily so many of us get caught up in our day to day strife, forgetting in the meantime that everything – I mean, Everything – hinges on our health and well-being. My body had been warning me over the last three or four months that not all was well but I chose to ignore those signals. Lying in hospital, I thought of an aunt of mine who is very rich and who – without fail – would pop over every Christmas to leave a gift of money for my sister and I. I remember being small and therefore prone to small-thinking, saying to myself ‘she has it all'; good looks, mansion, fancy cars, Chanel handbag. Then one day when I was older she and I met up on vacation and hearing that I had a goal list as long as my arm filled with things ‘I would possess by such and such an age’ she told me – her deep brown eyes boring into mine – “Money isn’t everything. Health is true wealth.”
Did you know that the word “wealth” comes from the Old English words “weal” which means “well- being” and happiness?
This is my wish for you and your loved ones this season and beyond: wealth, as in an abundance of well-being and happiness.