"Why don't Moms and Dads make Christmas lists? I really think you should make one, mommy. What do you want for Christmas? You really need a list."
"I don't really think I need anything more," I said, "I have so much already, don't you think?"
And it was then that I felt old, or maybe not so much old as content, calm, happy. As with each Christmas that passes, this one is turning out to be more about the giving not only of gifts but of time, effort, attention, warmth, pleasantness, as these are gifts I give also to myself.
I focus also on expressing thanks, still, even though the one time a year we set aside for that has passed. Sharing the gift of gratitude, not for things, but for the intangibles in ones life, for love, friendship, peace, understanding and patience. For safety, faith, forgiveness and wisdom, as these are the things for which I'm most grateful, the things that make me laugh, or cry, and feel full. My acknowledgement and ability to pass them on is my act of thanks, the outward sign that I understand my place here, what my time is for and the worth of my life.
Yet there is longing still when I stop to think about it, for time more than anything else. Time outdoors, time with the changes of the day, time with camera in hand, the sun on my face and the stillness to hear, feel, wonder and know. Time for pictures like the one above, an unexpected shot for a beach vacation, but memorable, maybe even moreso than the beach itself.