My reminiscing brings me to Christmas this year. My children are all busy with their own celebrations, so I won’t be seeing any of them today, though I’ll be visiting two of them later in the week. Then, if I can find an open restaurant, I’ll wear my brilliant red Marine sports jacket with a matching red tie while I take myself out to dinner. When I wear that jacket, I’m the center of attention. And I don’t need to be with others to enjoy the magic of Christmas. It surrounds me.
One of the reasons I avoid group gatherings, even on Christmas, is that I can’t hear what people are saying, especially if there is background noise, inevitable in groups of four or five or more people. My hearing was damaged due to the artillery shelling during the fall of Saigon, and while hearing aids help, they’re a partial solution at best. Repeatedly asking people to repeat what they have said make me tense. I don’t enjoy groups for that reason.
I’m grateful that I learned long ago that I don’t need the presence of others to find joy. My greatest fulfillment comes from what I can do for others. I take care of a number of people in one way or another. My peace and joy come from knowing that I have made life a little better for someone else. And the magic of Christmas is with me.
I’m with Tiny Tim: God bless us every one.