This Christmas has been eye opening. I didn't spend it with my family. We were apart for Christmas this year. But I did spend it with my dear friend Ashley Belle and the family she lives with in Ririe, ID - the Newbys. I'm not very fond of anything north of Utah just because it gets colder and colder, but this is beautiful country. They live on a farm with Norwegian ponies, two dogs, dead wheat fields, and a forest banking the Snake River. Even when it is all frozen, it is alive. Even when it is deathly quiet, it is sparkling with wonder. There is beauty here.
On Christmas morning, I opened presents. The Newby's got me presents. Can you believe that? I had presents to open, rip, tear apart on Christmas morning! I wasn't expecting it, but lo and behold, the Newbys are angels.
I feel I didn't deserve them. I think I've been pretty selfish this holiday season. I mostly think about me, my future, my plans, my abilities, my weaknesses, my sorrows, what makes me happy. I haven't lost myself in the service of others or in the thoughtfulness for others. I could work a lot harder at being selfless I'd say. The Newbys and Ashley helped me recognize this. The simple act of holding the door open or making dinner for someone comes so naturally to some people. I thought it came naturally to me for a long time, but I think it gets a little harder as I get older. I want service and love to come naturally to me. On Christmas eve, Tennessee made 4 pies. 2 for us and 2 for a community dinner for the homeless on Christmas. She does it every year. I was so happy I could help deliver those pies. I'm not taking credit for contributing to Christmas community dinner, but it felt refreshing to finally do something for someone else, even in a microscopic away. I have a lot to owe to the Newbys and to Ashley.
This year I celebrated Christmas quietly. I wasn't with my family which I thought I could muster, but it was actually weird. I did not enjoy it, but they say you don't miss things until they are gone. Well, I certainly miss my family and warm socks. Next year I hope I'm with my family somewhere somehow.