Mindful moment… The real gift is in what you have
From the moment we can stand we are asked the same question at this time of year: "What do you want for Christmas?" When I was a child, the list was a mile long.
Every television advert would result in me saying, "I want that Barbie house! That My Little Pony!", and as I got older, the list got more expensive: "I want that cassette player! That hi-fi!" Then when I was about 16, mum cancelled Christmas. Dad was sick and there was no money, so there were no presents. Of course it caused outrage! My sisters and I threatened to call Childline. This was child abuse! But 20 years later I could not be more grateful for the stand she took.
The truth is, I already had more than enough and I still do. I didn't need presents then and I don't need them now. I have a roof over my head. I have a family. I have clothes. I have food. This is more than many. Ask any sick person what they want this year and they'd say they would give anything for their health. Ask someone with a sick child and they will tell you they would give heaven and earth for their child to be better. Ask someone who is grieving a loved one and they will tell you they would trade everything for just 10 more minutes with that person. So this Christmas, let's remember that what we have is already the stuff of dreams for many.
* Marianne Power is the author of helpmeblog.net