What do you want for christmas?
Me and the other half are both struggling for present ideas this year. Now admittedly I am not a good gift giver, I seem to always struggle with what to get people but am I really so bad that I can't think of something to get the man I have lived with for 11 years?
We had a conversation about it last night with it being black Friday today and realised why we are both struggling - neither of us actually needs or wants anything in particular. I am so filled with gratitude for my life right now. Five years ago we could barely afford to buy the stuff in for Christmas dinner and now our lives are completely different, don't get me wrong we are not rich and actually still have a little debt we are paying off from when times were bad but for the first time in the 11 years we have lived together I can honestly say we can afford not just to live, but to live somewhat comfortably.
I then got a little sad thinking about all this, I mean I am nothing special why do I get to be comfortable when so many other's don't? It is actually something I think about a lot because of how bad things were at one time (we were very nearly homeless at one point when I was in a traffic accident and couldn't work) I don't just think about how lucky I am, but I think about how I can help others that haven't had the luck I have. I mean sure I worked bloody hard and took a lot of risks to get where I am (literally upending our lives, moving to the city, giving up our jobs to do so and coming to Glasgow with literally nothing) but a lot of it was luck too. I was lucky to get a job straight out of uni, I was lucky to work in the field of medicine I was most passionate about and I was lucky that a job in the private sector came up at just the right time when I couldn't cope with the stress of the NHS anymore. I was lucky to get an inheritance where no one had to die to give me it, there was not a lot of money by any stretch of the imagination but it was enough to give us the impression of savings to buy our flat (the rest, the legal fees etc were paid by my credit card - another risky move).
So this year for Christmas, what I would like to do is help others. We have already signed up for packing Christmas meal packs and delivering them to people in Glasgow who are in the situation we were a few years ago, but I am looking for more ideas. I want to make a difference to people, not just for one day but for the long term. I haven't worked out what I am going to do to make that happen yet though and I am most definitely open to ideas. Today I will also visit a local shopping centre, they have a tree with tags on it where kids who wont get anything for Christmas write on a tag what they would like santa to bring them, it is heart breaking some of them have asked for the most simple things, and one kid asked for a jacket and gloves to keep him warm, my heart almost broke! Me and the other half are going to pick some tags and buy the gifts in place of buying gifts for each other this black Friday.
I am acutely aware of how lucky we are to be in the position to give back and I know there are a lot of people who are not in a position to do so but because I can, I feel I have a responsibility to do so. Christmas for me this year is all about gratitude and giving back.