When asked what I want for Christmas these days, I'm hard-pressed to come up with a reply. Back when I was getting into the horse business, there was always something I wanted--a new saddle or other barn item. I would pick up a horse supply catalog and go through it, marking pages and circling items and then hand it to my DH who was very pleased to have a list to follow.
This year, I circled a few items that need replacing, but there isn't anything I'll be excited about, and most are things I could just as easily have bought for myself. That's the problem with material things; all you need is the money to pay for them, and if I have learned one thing in this life, it's that getting that saddle or diamond ring or whatever it is you think you want won't provide lasting happiness.
Perhaps it's something that comes with age, but more and more I'm beginning to realize the truth of that old saying about the best things in life being free. Material things matter less to me each year, while the intangibles have increased in value. Emails from readers cost nothing, but mean so much. Smiles from your friends can make a really rotten day seem brighter, and being with your loved ones on Thanksgiving can make all that's wrong with the world disappear for a while.
My son Mike will be home from Purdue for Thanksgiving, and he posted this on Facebook recently:
I wonder if it would be considered ironic that I am thankful for Thanksgiving itself. I am thankful for the holiday where we think about what we're thankful for.
This makes me wonder how it would be if we didn't have a holiday to make us stop and consider. Would we ever count our blessings, or would it be something that was simply overlooked from year to year? I'd like to think we would take the time, but perhaps not.
This year, in addition to those things I listed earlier, I've made many new friends through this crazy publishing game. I've been places I never would have seen, met people I never would have known, and done things I didn't think I was capable of. For all of this, I am truly thankful.
Eye candy is another one of those intangibles that bring joy to our lives. It's not something you can taste or possess, but is one of those natural wonders that cost nothing and are so good for the soul. Sort of like gazing out across the Grand Canyon.
So, go ahead. Take a good, long look.
And be thankful.