For the first time in 25 years of my life, I am spending Christmas without my family and friends. I am over 1500 kilometres away, on the other end of the country. While they are all on the other end. It is a very strange but extraordinary experience. Growing up in the village, I remember how we would, as children, dress up in our new (and sometimes not-so-new) “Christmas clothes”.  And how we would confidently parade every street and corner of our neighbourhood. Knowing very well in our little hearts that people were watching and, of course, judging. It was a different kind of fun and contentment. But fun nonetheless.

For most of us who came from poorer backgrounds, Christmas clothes were the only material gift we looked forward to. And of course, the buffet of food, drinks, and sweets we only saw and tasted on Christmas day. While my siblings and I were busy focusing on the food, the dressing up, music and dancing. My mom’s focus was always (and still is) on praising and worshipping the Lord. “The one whose Birthday it is”, she would say. I found this act of devotion from my mom to be adorning and fulfilling.

All these memories (and more) make it easier for days like today when I am alone and unable to physically connect with my beautiful family and friends. And, in many ways, they also confirm what I have always believed. Which is that the most precious gifts are those you can carry within your heart for a lifetime. Ones that are priceless and that cannot be easily taken away.

This Christmas, I am grateful for the intangible gifts my family and friends have showered me with for the past 25 years. I am grateful that I can look back to every Christmas I spent and say that I genuinely laughed, loved, gifted and celebrated as fully as I could.

If you take from this blog post. I hope it is to enjoy every moment, every second of every day and be present while you are at it.

Merry Christmas and I wish you a lifetime of priceless memories that you can carry with you where ever you go.

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