Gifting Gratitude for Christmas

Instead of sending Christmas cards for the holidays, this idea keeps crossing my mind—sending thank you cards instead. It could be a tradition of mine, gifting my gratitude in a nice little note. I would dot my i’s with hearts and cross my t’s with love, letting you know that you matter to someone. I’d drive around my neighborhood looking for the nearest mailbox (they still exist, right?), excited like a kid on Christmas picturing the faces that would light up when they land in your mailbox.

I’d hope it would make you remember me like I remember you:

There are countless profound people who have bridged smiles across my face, eased my worried mind, made my hair stand on end, made faucets of my eyes, and made homes in my heart this past year. What better of a time to let people know their impact than right around the holidays because we all know how the end of every year goes: Everyone is looking forward to the new year and their potential new selves. Everyone is excited to change. But have you considered what shouldn’t change?

There’s a man in Spain who took a few minutes out of his work day to make my life a little easier. I think he should pride himself on being the kind of person who goes the extra mile for others. There’s a woman in Chile who reached out to me when I was going through a tough time this month. I think she’s just fabulous at being a caring individual. There’s a group of people at work who left a thoughtful card on my desk in August when I was out of the office. I think they are incredible for making their teammates feel valued.

There’s a girl from high school who delivered comfort in the form of a Facebook message in September. I hope she knows she’s damn good at being a genuinely great person. There’s someone who I used to play basketball with years ago who refuses to lose touch, holding conversations with me as if we just hung out yesterday. I hope she realizes she is what everyone needs in a long time friend.  There’s a friend of mine who has endlessly offered to drop everything to drive hours to come see me when I need her most. I think she deserves friend of the year award for this and every year since we became bffs (half a decade and counting xoxo).

All of them—plus many, many more—deserve my thanks and praise. It’s because all of them that during my downtime, when I’m cuddled up on my sofa surrounded by my favorite scented candles, a new psychological thriller, and my Pinterest feed flowing, that I finally feel at peace. Definitely not something I’m too used to.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the negativity and believe me I’m one to talk. I have a history of getting so warped and wrapped up in it all—the gossip, the drama, the blah bah blah. It’s all too easy to allow myself to be entertained by the bad. I’m sure the same goes for you. We all can be sucky sometimes, let’s admit it.

But, I’m trying to make room for something more, something bigger than the bad stuff. I’m going through my days collecting the ‘little’ things—gestures of inclusion, texts to talk my ear off, memes sent my way for a lousy laugh. I’m letting these little things move me more to who I want to be—some jolly chick who wants to send Christmas cards. Like, who tf am I?

I may not be able to answer that question in its entirety but I can tell you this: I am grateful. I am forever thinking of all of you who have shook and reshaped my ever changing perspective. I hope you feel cherished this Christmas. Cherished enough that you realize you don’t have to change come New Years. 

 

Dedicated to all the people mentioned above, the people listed below, those to come, and many, many more. 

To my boyfriend who has cheered for me, fought for me, and loved me unconditionally.

To one of my newest, but closest of friends who is always down to read my novel long texts, talk with me about the universe, and hangout for hours in the nearest cutest coffee shop.

To the people who have opened their arms and home to me welcoming me as if one of their own.

To family that repaired burnt bridges, renewed relationships, and learned how to laugh and love each other again.

To the girl who used to be a best friend of mine, showing bridges haven’t burned by sharing with me the hair products that keep her curls looking perfect for days.

To the friend who is always down for a good back and forth debate filled with nothing but love whether it be about food or our love of early 2000 pop punk.

To the couple who we have become utterly close with for staying up until 3AM in our apartments spending our times laughing, venting, bullshitting—but never judging.

To all of the people who reached out to me when my childhood best friend passed away.

To the people who remain friendly when our paths cross, over social media, and touch base about the things we have in common like fitness, outfits, music, and/or reading.

To the former professors who mother me over social media, support me in my endeavors, or are their for guidance when I need it.

To the person who took me out for Chinese after my short term gig, who taught me so much about professionalism and organization as a woman in the workplace.

To the mentors who have been on the sidelines as I learn to fly, nudging me out of the nest slowly. 

To the people have chosen to forgive me for anyway I have hurt them through petty arguments and brouhaha that followed.

To the people who have confided in me about their personal struggles, their experiences, and their stories—you are heard, validated, and loved.

To the strangers who will never read this, for saying hi to me in the morning, small talk on public transit, compliments on the street, or a simple smile while passing by.

To the people who continuously show up for one another, support one another, and remain honest with one another.

To the people who wait before passing judgement, understanding everyone is multifaceted, complicated, and equally deserving of love.

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