Thoughts For The Holidays

The Doob Abides

My wife asked me the other day, “What do you want for Christmas?”

I thought for a second or two and replied, “I don’t know. There’s nothing I really need.”

We have this conversation every year.

There’s nothing I really need and that’s the truth. That’s not the same as there aren’t things I wouldn’t mind having, but honestly, the things I might like to have aren’t really the same things I need to have. I have a nice enough home, I have a nice enough vehicle, I have a nice enough life, I love my wife. She loves me. I don’t need toys to occupy my time. I suppose I’m a lucky guy. There are people everywhere who do have serious needs, just to survive.

I often times find perspective on life through my family friends and my pets. My friends and family are dropping off in a continuous and unpredictable pace. Someone becomes ill, they get sick and then they die. One less family member, one less friend. The countdown continues. I then wonder when it will be my turn. But I can’t dwell upon it. I know we are all going to die. At some point down the road, there will be people standing in my garage looking at all the stuff I’ve accumulated over the years and trying to sort out what to do with it, who to give it to, wondering how and why I could have accumulated such a collection of stuff that looks more or less unused. “I can use a rip saw, this one looks hardly used.”

I think about Christmas and the never ending stream of things throughout the years that I’ve purchased for others and myself, all under the flag of Christmas time. No gift I have ever received nor given has been life altering for anyone. I realize now that I’m just not in to it anymore. I have enough things. If something comes up, and I can afford it, I’ll go get it. If I can’t afford it, I’ll do without. These days, I just live in the moment.

I watch my dogs and they seem to have the same approach. Maybe I’m learning to be like them. Living in the moment. I have no way of knowing what they ponder when they sit there staring into the distance but I’m thinking it’s about something that is happening now, and not something that happened last week or last year, or might happen next week. They seem to pretty much live in the moment.

When I am on the computer or iPad, or watching television, the stream of advertising seems to be increasing with each passing day as we get closer to Christmas. A constant barrage of buy this, buy that, gotta have one of these, buy one of those for someone, buy, buy, buy. But I’m not buying. I just skip on past it. I don’t need it. As for gifts for others, my inclination is to give them cash. “Here you go, Merry Christmas, buy what you need.” Cash is the universal gift card.

But I have figured out what I do need. I need to love someone and I need someone to love me. But I’m lucky, that is something I already have, and I don’t take it for granted. I need to wake up in the morning and look myself in the mirror and know that I have a new day to spend around those who love and care about me, and whom I can love and care about in return.

So as we approach the holidays, my only hope is that you too can find your peace of mind away from the commercialization and material neediness that is thrust upon you and find your happiness living day to day in the moment with someone you love or in the company of people you care about who actually care about you. It’s a dogs life, but it’s not a bad life.

May peace and happiness be with you.