Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Letter to Santa.

My little haven, all decked out for the holidays.

Dear Santa,

I know that this is the time of year when you are insanely busy and things are just about at the point of spiraling out of control. I know that you have lots of things to do, places to be, and you've received millions of letters from around the world with numerous requests for presents, presents, presents. But this year, Santa, I'm going to make this easy on you: I'm not asking for anything at all. 

"Not asking for anything at all," you say? Yes, that is right. You see, Santa, at a time when most people are anxiously awaiting something new, something pretty, something expensive, something exciting, I just want to take the time to stop and look at all of the things I already have and be happy in knowing I am very lucky and blessed. 

So, instead of checking your list and processing my order, I'd just like you to sit back and relax when it comes to me. I'm alright and maybe I'll be needy and demanding next year, but not this year. That's because this year, I have all of this:

Loving friends and family. I am pretty lucky to have a family that doesn't fight, grumble, or cause me to want to tear my hair out. My friends are fabulous and although I don't get to see them as much as I'd like, I know they are out there, and they know I am out there for them as well. Whether they are my high school friends, college friends, work friends, or "horsey" friends, I have such wonderful people in my life and I cherish the good times and the memories I hold thanks to my great family and friends. 

A good job. As you know, Santa, I had a rough year or so until I was hired by several local schools to teach this past fall. I had waited and waited for the "right job" to come my way, and I wasn't even sure what that job might be. Would it be a part-time writer/editor for a local company? Would it be bank teller? Store clerk? Babysitter? Doctor's receptionist? Insurance sales? Processing medical records? I considered them all. After being laid off from a corporate job that I both loved (at least the people I worked with were great) and hated, I wasn't sure what would be in store for me next. Of course I've always been a teacher in some capacity, so finding myself back in front of a classroom (5 different classrooms, to be precise) just feels right. It's exhausting and is often punishing, but I had so many special students this semester that I noted something satisfying and rewarding that occurred almost every day. It's good to have a steady paycheck again each month, but the feeling of helping people to learn and to change their lives is something you really can't put a dollar-amount to. 

A warm home. Santa, you've visited my house every year since I've lived here (that's 11 times!) and you know my little cottage is not fancy, big, or chocked with luxurious amenities. Last December, my heating unit finally died and my parents helped to finance a new furnace system. This winter has not been harsh as yet, but it feels good to come in from the barn and have a cozy, warm  place waiting for me. It's nice to wake up in the morning and to find that the heat ran consistently through the night (that didn't happen much the year before) and I am grateful to not have to wear a hooded sweatshirt, wool socks, and gloves while eating dinner or watching t.v. There are many people out there who do not have a warm home, so I have tried to donate a little of my new income to some initiatives around town here that help needy folks find shelter and afford heat this season. As the Lord said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." I guess this is something that you know all-too-well, Santa!

Finally, I have to say that I've had a good fall season back out there in the world of Eddie and eventing. We didn't make it to a recognized event in 2011, but we had a great October, November, and December. We have placed well in our dressage classes, we rode for two days in Nashville with Kyle Carter, and....guess what, Santa? I got to meet Francis Whittington. Auditing his clinic last month was the best, most enjoyable five hours of my year! But, the high point of 2011 had to be when Eddie and I won our combined test division a few weeks ago here at Penrose Farm (we scored a 26.8!). Can you believe it? A blue ribbon, at long last. That was a great way to finish the season and give me some hope for a productive and positive 2012. See, Santa, I was good this year (and so was Eddie)!

To make a long story short, I have everything I really need right now, Mr. Claus. There are people who need more than I do, so save the gifts for them this week. My gifts can't fit in a box or under the tree, anyway, and I find them all around me, all the time, 365 days of the year. So don't worry about stopping by my house on Saturday night....unless you just want to drop in for a few cookies and some strong eggnog. That's what I'll be having for Christmas, as I dream not of sugarplums, but of warm beds, well-fed dogs, happy family, loyal friends, and one super-duper red and white horse. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

One of those is blue!


Suzanne said...

LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Merry Christmas!

Holly Ratcliff said...

Merry Christmas to you, Suzanne! I expect to see more fun holiday hunting photos of you this season. You inspire me to take Eddie out again soon. :-)