An Unexpected Christmas Blessing

Early Christmas morning, my brother had just unwrapped a train set he was eager to set up. My sister, just weeks after taking her first steps, was overwhelmed by the spectacle of a giant tree in her house with presents all around.

As my siblings enjoyed these early moments of Christmas morning, I apparently chose this inopportune time to enter this world.

My mother was rushed off to the hospital.  The labor complicated by both my large size (over 11 pounds) and a breach delivery.

Over the years, when people learn that my birthday is on Christmas, the question always arises whether I felt gypped.  And truth be told, I typically have answered with tales of only getting presents one day a year, or half as many, and the inevitable difficulties of having a birthday party on this day.

But rarely do I talk about the sacrifices others have made because my birthday is on a day when they have other things to look forward to.

From my brother and sister who had to hit pause on their own pleasure on that first Christmas and every one that followed.

To my mother, whose pain on that day marked a lifetime of sacrifice she made for me.

Friends who couldn’t make birthday parties instead now take a few minutes each year away from their own families to send a birthday wish my way.

My own children now hit pause on opening gifts to give birthday presents to Daddy and have a special birthday breakfast.

And my wife, who already has a hundred and one things to do in preparation for our holidays, has one more added to her long list.

There is a beautiful thing about someone sacrificing something for you.  It is all the more wonderful when it is made so unconditionally to almost go without notice.

The holidays are a time marked by such sacrifice, when people think of others before themselves.

It is also a time when we are given the opportunity to pause and take notice of these sacrifices.  To as they say, count our blessings.

I feel so blessed today.  I hope the same holds true for you. 

Happy Holidays.

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