This is a guest post by Karen, MyHeritage’s country manager for Brazil.
Last week, my daughters were writing letters to Santa. First, they drew beautiful Christmas trees, snowy landscapes, sleds, and reindeer. This got them to thinking about what they would like for Christmas this year. My older daughter had something very definite in mind: a toy and a ski suit. My younger daughter, as she often does, looked around the kitchen and sought inspiration: “I think I would like some carrots, cookies, and something to play with.”
When they finished their letters, they looked at me and said, “And what about you, Mom? What do you want for Christmas?”
I paused to think about it, trying to decide whether to share with them my real wish for Christmas. I wasn’t sure if my girls would understand it, but I decided to take a chance — I ended up telling them that what I really wanted for Christmas is health — health for my mother.
Earlier this year, we discovered that my mom had cancer. It’s been a very tough year starting with surgery and followed by chemotherapy. She is now taking a break until the end of the year when she will begin radiation therapy. My daughters know well what my mother was going through, as I had decided early on that I would tell them the truth. I didn’t want to cover it up and say that Grandma was simply “tired.” They know that Grandma is sick, but that she’s doing everything in her power to get well soon.
I explained to them that, in these moments, we realize that health is what truly matters most in life. We can find an answer for almost everything else that we are going through, but often our health problems are out of our control.
My older daughter hugged me and said that she also wants to add health to her list, but that she would write health for the whole family.
And isn’t that such a perfect answer? Health, family, and being together with the people we love — that is what Christmas is really about.
What about you? Have you started thinking about your wishes this holiday season?
We want to know what your wishes are for your family and for yourself this year.
Write on a chalkboard (or sheet of paper) your wish for your family this Christmas, be it health, peace, good will, spending more time with family, or even finding your great-grandfather’s birth certificate. Send us a photo of yourself holding up your wish to firstname.lastname@example.org, by December 23. Three lucky people will win an Amazon Kindle plus a private session with a professional family history researcher to help you break those brick walls and advance your family history research in the new year!
We’ll make a collage of all the finalists, and our users will be able to vote on which photo should win.