Merry Christmas

I look out my window this morning to see the sun rising into the cold Colorado air.  Clear skies, a light dusting of snow sitting atop tree branches, and the subtle chirping of birds just waking bring a smile to my face.

As a child, I would be racing toward the Christmas tree with unbridled joy eager to see what Santa had brought me in his giant red sack of toys.  As an adult, I sit before this screen writing.  Despite the obvious physical differences and altered belief system regarding mythical characters, I still share that unbridled joy with my adolescent self.

Only now it’s not for toys or money or shredding open presents.  I’m simply thrilled to be alive.

I came home late last night on Christmas Eve after spending the evening with my family.  I opened my mailbox to find the standard weekly assortment of ads.  As I squeezed the pile of thin paper in my hand I felt a certain stiffness atypical to previous wads of junk mail.  When I placed the pile on the counter, the heap unfolded and I noticed a red envelope addressed to me.  It was handwritten with no return address in the upper left corner; immediately I smirked.  I absolutely love getting letters in the mail!

I peeled back the adhesive seal and slid the card from its protective delivery case.  I saw a peacefully sleeping mouse in red striped pajamas lay serenely tucked within a billowing green bow.  I opened the card and the first thing I read, “Steven, you are amazing and I’m so lucky to know you…”

My eyes began to fill with tears as I did my best to read the rest of the card.  It was from one of my very best friends, Rebecca.

It’s amazing, isn’t it?  How such a simple gesture that takes only a few minutes of our overly busy days can have such a great impact on another human being.

Even though Christmas day has changed since my childhood, the essence remains the same.  If anything, I’d say the spirit has grown more potent.  For it’s not the number of presents under the tree or how big and expensive those presents are that brings such immense joy to the surface.  It’s the small, often overlooked actions that come from the heart; the gestures that indicate just how well you know someone and how well they know you; that show in some way, shape, or form that you’ve touched each other’s lives and changed them for the better.

Today is a day to celebrate those relationships.

That’s what the essence of Christmas is all about.


Merry Christmas and Enjoy The Journey

Steve O'Neill


*I titled this post Merry Christmas because I celebrate Christmas.  When visiting or living in different countries it’s commonplace and courteous to follow local culture (when in Rome…).  So while you’re visiting my blog, I’m going to discuss my beliefs and customs.  When I say Merry Christmas it’s nothing more than a tiding of joy from me to you based in my traditions; like cheers or prost.  My intention is not to discriminate or leave out those who celebrate different holidays this time of year.  Being the smart intelligent readers that you are, I figured you would understand this but want to clarify regardless.  Thank you all so much for your continued support and have a phenomenal remainder of 2013 – I’ll see you in the new year!

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