It’s all about fun, family, friends…a season of magic to warm up the chill of winter outside. It’s a chance to be a big kid (not that I need any excuse!) and indulge in all the things that we spend the rest of the year saying “oh I shouldn’t…” to.
It’s also the time of year where you get to hear from people that you haven’t heard from in the last 12 months, and often haven’t seen in much longer.
When the Christmas cards started appearing a few weeks ago, it was great hearing all the little bits of news that get included with the greetings inside.
One card however, had some news that we weren’t expecting.
News that came as quite a shock.
A family friend wrote and told us that her son lost his battle with colon cancer in November.
He was 30.
Now…this might sound like a bit of a depressing topic to be sharing in an inspiring newsletter just before Christmas…but bear with me…there is a string of festive fairy lights at the end of the tunnel, I promise.
I would like to say that Steven is the first person who I have known who has parted this life early. Unfortunately I can’t.
I lost a dear friend from university to cancer in her early twenties, one of my parents’ closest friends lost his wife to a sudden brain haemorrhage, my sister lost a friend from school to cancer, and a few years back a friend and shining light in the salsa dancing community was taken from us in a car accident at the age of 24.
I have been reflecting on this a lot in the last couple of days…and it occurred to me that none of the people I have mentioned here would have had any clue that their last Christmas, was their last Christmas.
If they had known, what would they have done differently? If they had the chance to have another ‘last Christmas’ what would they do to make it the most magical of all?
Now, I hope for myself and each and every one of you that we will all live long and happy lives into old age, spending many Christmases to come filled with fun and laughter, surrounded by friends and family all driving us crazy and creating more special memories together.
But if this were your last Christmas, what would YOU do to make it the most magical? What would you make sure you said to the people you love? How would you enjoy every single moment?
What are the insignificant niggles that you would let go because they just don’t matter? What are the moments that you would take a mental photograph of? How would you make every minute with the people you care about most matter? What could you do to make it the best Christmas you and your family and friends have ever had?
As some of you know, when I was doing my marathon training earlier this year (temporarily on pause due to injury and business launches…it will be recommencing in the new year!) I had a revelation which totally changed the experience of running for me.
I realised that there must be hundreds of thousands of people in the world who would love to be able to experience what I was doing on my morning run, but couldn’t (for whatever reason). So I began running for them.
Each session was dedicated to someone else who couldn’t run for themselves…and when I ran, I ran the way I imagined that they would if they had the opportunity to run just once. It was a total game changer for me. Something which once felt like a chore became an incredible experience filled with gratitude and fun.
Now I know, that every single one of those people who didn’t realise that they were experiencing their last Christmas would LOVE the opportunity to have just one last festive season with their closest family and friends.
I’m sure that every single one of us knows someone who didn’t know they were having their last Christmas with someone special, whether they are the person who is still here, or the one who left before they expected to.
So how about you celebrate this Christmas in their spirit? Enjoy every moment of this Christmas season the way that they would if they had the chance to do it again. To soak up every second and make memories which you will all cherish.
…and why not celebrate every special occasion…even every day like it were our last? We would focus on the best of each moment, and instantly dismiss any minor frustrations which don’t mean anything when you look at the big picture. What memories we would create!
I don’t know about you…but if my lifetime is going to be the long and happy one that I fully intend for it to be, then I want it to be filled with THOSE kinds of memories. 😀
How about you?
I wish every single one of you a Christmas celebrated with the people who you love as if it were the last you were going to get. One filled with happiness, laughter and love.