I hope this finds everyone having enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and if, by chance, Santa did not make it to your house this year, you can blame my father-in-law.
You remember that song, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer?” Well, this year Santa, or at least his foot, got run over by Papa Tom.
Following Christmas Eve services at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, we drove to Barrington Oaks subdivision off Lumsden Road to look at the Christmas lights. Each year the community features a drive-through display of festive twinkling lights and every Christmas Eve, Santa makes an appearance. Like a practiced politician, Santa leans into car windows to shake fathers’ hands and make pleasing promises to eager children of a Christmas morning filled with grandeur.
Our large family was represented in two cars, my husband and I and several of our children taking the lead, and my in-laws and a few more children following.
My husband stopped long enough to allow the three children in our car to get a quick picture with St. Nick but my dear father-in-law, more interested in the cookies and pies waiting at home than in exchanging pleasantries with Kris Kringle, stepped on the gas peddle as the big guy approached his car and ran right over his foot, possibly incapacitating him, at least for a while.
We raced home, trying desperately to conceal our laughter, as our youngest fretted over Santa having the ability to walk, much less guide a team of reindeer all over the world, but all was set right again on Christmas morning when a large pile of gifts proved that Santa did not fail to deliver.
And as quickly as Christmas was here, it was gone, and now we wait for the start of the New Year.
I love the beginning of a new year, with its New Year’s Eve celebration and jovial close to the year. I love the celebration with friends and family and the personal reflection of all we’ve learned over the past year, combined with the anticipation of the year to come.
It is the closing of a chapter, one that might not have reached our highest expectations yet holds the hopes, the dreams and the possibilities of a whole new one. It's the concept that the slate has been wiped clean and we have a brand new opportunity to start over.
It is a fact that no matter how hard we try to manage our own lives, each year all of us are faced with situations and circumstances that are completely out of our control.
When I look back on 2011, I see a lot of laughter, love and more happiness than I probably deserve, but I also see missed opportunities, disappointments in relationships, mishaps and misfortunes and poor decisions in how I reacted to situations and how people reacted to me.
But I recognize that in order for me to move forward, to continue growing, to continue reaching for higher standards, I need to put aside the negative and focus on the positive.
There were many things that I was able to accomplish in the past 12 months and some things that I was unable to achieve, and even a few things that I have put off for another year, but if I dwell on the negative and hang onto the past too much, I will miss new opportunities, new relationships and new possibilities.
I will end the year reflecting on all the wonderful moments of 2011 and looking forward to what I have not yet seen. I will leave the past in the past, where it belongs, and focus on all the possibilities and promises of 2012.
To all my readers, I wish for you a happy New Year filled with promise and
hope, together with the resignation to bear the burdens that we must to achieve our goals, as each of us defines them. 2012 awaits us, offering new challenges, new obstacles, and new opportunities for growth. May the coming year find you happy and healthy and bring you full circle to the close of another year, in which, hopefully, Santa Claus will steer clear of my father-in-law.
Happy New Year!