Four days to Christmas

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The Christmas elf (circa 2008)

It still shocks me that it’s just four days to Christmas. It seems that Christmas, for me anyway, has been mostly about going to various Christmas parties, rushing to the mall and fighting the crowds to buy the very little Christmas gifts that I can afford to give out, facing Christmas rush traffic, and then preparing for the big feast of Christmas Eve dinner with whoever family is in town.

That has been what Christmas is to me, every year.

And then, on the day itself, when the clock strikes twelve and it’s Christmas, I look at the family I’m with and I start to get teary-eyed because I always thought I was going to celebrate my last Christmas back in 2008 when I was just newly diagnosed with HIV. Seven years later, and I’m going to celebrate yet another Christmas with my family.

But being home, resting and trying to get stronger, and not having the means or the ways to celebrate in all the festivities and to go shopping for gifts, somehow the Christmas season just didn’t creep in until I saw a Tweet from a friend of mine that was exclaiming that “Christmas is next week!” I saw this tweet last Friday. I was shocked.

Now, the realisation has come that Christmas is in four days.

Wow. The year is almost done. Another Christmas, another New Year’s Day celebration. Eight years alive now since I found out about being HIV positive. Wow.

Wow.

There’s so much to be thankful for, really.

And I don’t care what you believe in and what you think Christmas means. After all these years, Christmas has evolved like civilisation, like human beings have over the years, and Christmas is what it means to you, as a person and individual. It no longer belongs to just any one belief but it’s a common human experience now and I think we are all allowed to celebrate it for whatever it means to us.

We can celebrate the birth of our saviour, if that’s what you believe in, and you can just celebrate it because it’s a time of giving and being with family. You can celebrate it because the year is almost done and everyone is in a festive mood and you just want to celebrate how humanity, for one moment, can just relax and just be humans and love one another, even for just a day.

For whatever reason it is that you celebrate Christmas, celebrate it. Be joyous, be merry. Give gifts and receive them openly and with gratitude. Be human. Be a living embodiment of love. And one week later, the year will be over and we start all over again.

There’s so much to be thankful , really. Be thankful. Let that be Christmas if you don’t believe in anything else then. It will be enough.

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