I have always thought that being a winter baby is a bit of a mixed blessing. One of the positives is that people tend to be in a cheerful mood as they lead up towards Christmas, but equally we can all be stressed.
One of the downsides of a December Birthday growing up, was of course, a temptation to roll your presents into one: combining Birthday and Christmas. To have made that worse you tended to find the one thing that you really wanted like a bike, Darth Vader’s attack ship or even a contribution to a new central heating system (gosh you know you are getting old when you ask for that contribution!) was decided upon six months before your birthday. Which is great in August, but not so brilliant when you are looking at a couple of brazil nuts and a tangerine in December.
However, on my 45th Birthday in what has been quite an extraordinary year, whilst opening presents remains a thrill, I feel that the true gift is that of time and love. Somebody far wiser than me said to see this year as a year of grace and how true that has been. I will share more in my reflections on Christmas, but suffice to say at this stage in Advent and a time of expectation and preparation, I look back and see that in this year I have been given a gift of time.
The opportunity to pause, to reflect, but also to have a myriad of conversations and I am so very grateful for the love and laughter I have shared with many. In the marketplace, on walks and tea rooms, having and taking the time to truly talk with people, do we have the opportunity to see God’s face in our world.
So whilst the days of Ewoks and Jabba the Hutt may be behind me, I am grateful for the gift of time and friendship and to know that if we ask and we seek, that is always available in a God who loves and urges us to love in return.