Christmas Connections

I’ve been indulging in Christmas Movies over the past couple of weeks. They have never really been my thing but the more I watched, the more I fell in love with the beautiful locations they are filmed in, the Christmas scenes and to my surprise, the scripts aren’t half bad. Sometimes a little predictable but often the message within the storyline is thought provoking and touching.

A Christmas miracle is of course always captured at the end of each movie.

Christmas Miracles

The very first Christmas miracle was so far removed from our romantic concept of Christmas today.

Mary and Joseph had a very uncertain and tumultuous time ahead of them that first Christmas. They needed to find a place to stay. They needed to protect their baby from harm’s way.

Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger. This is where the stable animals would have been fed. Nothing 5 star about the experience…or even 1 star for that matter.

There was though angels from on high and an amazing star in the sky, leading the shepherds and wise men from afar. Much more important than a Trivago rating.

Fast forward to 2020 and life still doesn’t always run smoothly. COVID-19 has let us know, in no uncertain terms, challenges are always around the corner.

The perfect winter scene Christmas card, isn’t a true reflection of the real meaning of Christmas.

It doesn’t mean we can’t experience “Christmas Miracles” or special moments today, even in the midst of challenging situations. Often our miracles will be private and understated, just like the stable where Jesus was born. Nobody would even know the absolute joy they have brought you.

Christmas miracles can come in ways we weren’t expecting, but we need to be open to receiving them. If we are caught up with too much busyness, attending parties, hosting family get togethers etc , we may miss the significance of a seemingly small gesture, which has much greater meaning.

It’s these kinds of understated events which can be so uplifting and so emotional, you just know it’s your own little “Christmas Miracle”.

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A Very Real Script

Sometimes real life is the best story script ever. I’m often overwhelmed by moments where a series of “non scripted” events, result in an outcome I couldn’t possibly have imagined.

As my readers know, my life is pretty simple due to the limitations my bone disease imposes on me.

While I could do without my pain levels, the simple life is one I’ve happily accepted.

As a result of my health though, last year I nearly missed out on a series of Christmas Miracles, which proved to be priceless.

In November each year I begin the annual task of writing our Christmas Newsletter and Christmas cards.

My husband and I have lived in many areas of Australia, with his work as an Anglican Clergyman and mine as an Executive Manager in the finance industry. We’ve made life-long friends along the way and we love hearing their news and sharing ours. So as you can imagine the mailing list is not short.

Physically it is really beyond my capabilities now and I was contemplating giving this annual tradition a miss last year.

Yes, I could possibly send emails instead of writing cards and printing newsletters, but there is something so special I think, about receiving actual mail in the letterbox at Christmas.

It’s probably the romantic in me!!

So, I decided I needed to persevere with my annual tradition, at least one more time. I paced the task over 3 weeks and by the first week of December the pile of mail was ready for my husband to take to the Post Office.

Mission accomplished, I turned my focus to other things.

There was one special card in the pile though. I had found some old photos of my eldest nephew and me from a Christmas about 30 years ago. They brought back such beautiful memories for me and given I don’t have children of my own, I felt it was time to start giving these kinds of tangible memories to my nephew. I was hoping he would enjoy the trip down memory lane.

A week after the cards were posted, I received a text from my nephew thanking me for the photos and letting me know they “made his day, they mean a lot”…his words!

His message brought me so much joy. I wasn’t sure if he’d want them and I hesitated in sending them. I was so glad I listened to the still small voice saying, “just send them”!!

After knowing the joy those old photos brought my nephew and me, I couldn’t believe what arrived in the mail the week before Christmas.

Among some beautiful letters from old friends with lovely Christmas greetings, was a card from a very special lady. I’ve mentioned before I migrated to Australia with my parents from the Uk when I was 3 years of age.

My parents built a new home once they arrived and our new Aussie neighbours became wonderful family friends. I grew up with the boys next door from age 3 to 11 and I have such special menories of those years and the adventures we shared together.

The Christmas Card was from my neighbour all those years ago. She is a lovely lady and we both look forward to our annual newsletters. Last year as I opened the card, her letter fell out but so did something else. It was a photo. Not just any photo….it was a photo of me and the boys next door, standing outside my childhood home. I would have been 4 years old.

I immediately saw the significance of this photo. I had sent my nephew old photos which meant so much to him and a few weeks later, I received an old photo which was so unexpected and so special to me.

I couldn’t have scripted it if you’d asked me to!! A simple, understated Christmas miracle.

Christmas Connections, Past, Present And Future

Christmas conjures up all kinds of emotions and memories for us. Some beautiful, some sorrowful, and some we’d much prefer we could forget altogether.

Ultimately though the underlying theme of our memories and thoughts is how they connect to our lives. The connections of our past, present and future.

It’s probably why the famous ” A Christmas Carol” script and the story of Scrooge, has lived on through the years. It’s focused on the past, present and future connections in life and the choices made. The choices which can change our own life scripts for better or for worse.

I could have chosen to send no cards last year. Had I made this choice I would have missed out on my special Christmas blessing. I would have missed out on being a blessing to others, as well as receiving many cards of love and support from lifelong friends. We even received an unexpected phone call from friends we hadn’t spoken to for 15 years….all because I chose to send the Christmas card and newsletters.

In the busyness of life, or perhaps the solitude if you are on your own, don’t be afraid to be quiet. Don’t be afraid to expect your own understated miracles, not just at Christmas but all year through.

Think carefully about the choices you make. Sometimes when we choose not to do something, we may miss out on a blessing we never expected to occur.

My 2020 Christmas Card List

So, here we are, one year later and my disease has progressed further since last Christmas. I’ve yet again contemplated not sending our annual newsletter and writing Christmas cards and I know I’d be forgiven under the circumstances.

It’s not an easy task for me physically but as I look back on the Christmas Connections miracles from last year, how can I not continue to reach out and connect with those in our lives who mean so much.

My Christmas miracle this year may not be connected to writing cards but the point is, I don’t know that. I have a choice to connect or disconnect. I’m choosing to connect.

I guess you know what I’ll be doing this weekend! I’ll be doing it with joy in my heart, knowing it’s a choice….my Christmas choice to spread a little love, a little gesture to others to let them know they are remembered. Who knows, the Christmas miracle this year might not be mine but be for a recipent of my card. It might arrive just when someone needed a little pick me up.

Chronic illness is limiting, there is no question about it. However, there is always something we can do, within our limitations, which may bring someone else some joy and in turn can be a blessing for us too.

I hope, no matter the season, there are events for many people which are understated, but are simply perfectly scripted life moments, which turn into perfect little miracles.

My hope and prayer for you is a Christmas miracle is awaiting, as you make a choice to engage in this most wonderful time of the year.

Sam xx

If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.

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10 thoughts on “Christmas Connections

  1. Aww I’m glad you sent the card and photos to your nephew. I’ve sent photos to relatives too on behalf of my mum, who was hesitant for the same reason: maybe they won’t want them, it seems silly, it’s embarrassing if they don’t like them. Of course they loved them. And I definitely agree with you – there is something more special about receiving physical post, perhaps all the more so these days when it becomes increasingly rare to receive anything other than bills and junk mail.

    Just don’t forget to coronavirus-quarantine any post under your dining table for a day or two before opening! Never, ever imagined having to do this before this year came around! 😆

    I love your dedication to seeing the positive, to sharing joy and to connecting, no matter your health or whether things are indeed worse even than last year. It’s a beautiful thing to do with writing cards and connecting, Sam. These people are lucky to have you in their lives. Wishing you well with the cards, hopefully you can pace yourself without any rush. Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Caz. Yes definitely pacing the whole process over a week. I’m at the tail end now and it’s a lovely feeling to know I’ve done it and equally lovely to know it’s over until next year. 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought some Christmas stamps this year. Yes mine have Bugs Bunny on them and yes they are not really Christmas stamps, and yes no one will notice when I send them out, but I, and now your readers know, that if the get a card from me with a bugs bunny stamp, then they know I meant them as Christmas stamps.

    Now you may say hey rick Bugs Bunny has nothing to do with Christmas. But, compare these to my Christmas stamps last year, Janis Joplin. See, bugs bunny seems like an upgrade.

    Oh and for the record, Sheryl will make me get other Christmas stamps when she finds out I got her Bugs Bunny. If I get her Hot Wheels stamps maybe she will feel better and know I can always use a new 100 hot wheels cars. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful story. I have always believed that writing cards is a special ministry. For many years I hand wrote and signed every card. (over 150) and had them ready to go out the week after Thanksgiving. I have proven over the years that some people send cards only to those who send them a card. Which I find to be that blessing in return.
    Anyway, what I wanted to share was that about ten years ago, a pastor friend passed away unexpectedly. He was about the same age as my husband and I and I realized that but for the Grace of God there go I. I realized how often once a minister passes away, his dear wife is forgotten. SO I began to write cards throughout the year to pastors widows for no particular reason than to uplift. I never expected anything in return, but lo and behold, I receive cards and sometimes gifts from these precious ladies. A few years ago, I received a beautiful Christmas quilt. It is so special to me.
    THis is how it works, bless others and God blesses you right back!

    Like

  4. Oh Mandy, that is just so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a beautiful ministry and so important. You’ve made the start of my day so special as I awoke to read your comment. Thank you & God bless xx

    Like

  5. Sam, I want to thank you so much for sharing your life with a rare disease. I don’t think people always realize the impact just sharing your story can have on others who struggle too. This is my small miracle today. I found someone else who lives a simple life and struggles with Christmas cards due to chronic illness. Thank you for blessing me today!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Sam you’ve given me inspiration yet again. I probably won’t get to see my children in real life due to covid for Christmas. I think I’ll dig out some old Christmas photos and share them with my kiddos. They’re doing no good in boxes in the closet. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, you have made my day. Your kids will be absolutely delighted to receive the photos from you. I can just imagine the smiles on their faces xx

      Like

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