“I didn’t get an iPhone for Christmas”.
A few moments ago I was browsing the “Christmas” hastag and tag and saw how many people were complaining for not receiving what they asked for. iPhones, iPads, cars, gadgets or computers; they were like “fuck you, parents” all pissed like their parents wanted to ruin their lives. I also saw how many people were having fun with their families, dinning and giving each other gifts for the Secret Santa thing. I saw their pictures on Facebook, their Twitter statuses and Tumblr uploads, how they had a beautiful Christmas enjoying of what they had/got.
Well, I didn’t get the Christmas I wanted. My family didn’t have a Secret Santa or a fancy dinner, and we didn’t even stayed up late. We had a few typical Mexican dishes and went to bed at 2am. My mom gave me a toothbrush as a present and I couldn’t eat all I wanted because I’m still convalescent (two days ago I had to go to the hospital because I got very, very sick); but still, I’m not depressed.
We went to visit a friend of my mom’s, who is a Christian. She told us that every year her community goes outside the city to the poor communities where people live in houses with laminated ceilings and cardboard walls. They don’t even have cement, the floors are just dirt. They don’t have drainage nor electricity, and there’s not telephone. They have to wake up at 4 o’clock and go to the river for water. Some kids don’t have shoes and none of them go to school because there’s any. The kids get kidnapped and the parents can’t to anything because they can’t pay the ransom. There are thieves who attack them, even though they have nothing. She said that every year her church collects money so they can buy dinners for those communities. They buy them 2 roast chickens, a bottle of soda, a pack of crackers, tortillas and candy for the children, all of this for each family. Some families have 10 members.
I was sad because I wasn’t going to have the perfect-white-Christmas I expect every year, with tons of presents and my family laughing and cheering all night long. After she told us how grateful the families were, how many sacrifices they do for their families, how hardworking and how tears were rolling down their cheeks after receiving their dinners I understood one thing: we, the people of the cities, are not grateful enough.
I realized I’m very lucky I didn’t die at the hospital. I had a weird Christmas, but I spent it with my family and it was good. It wasn’t how I wanted it at all, but it was good because now I’m healthy and I can rejoice again. Probably we won’t have a lot of presents like other families I know, but we have each other. Those poor families live in horrible conditions, and yet they’re happy because they see their situation as a test, not a curse. We often complain about not having what we want or not receiving what we asked for, but we don’t see how lucky we are for having a family. Yes, you may have not received the videogame you asked for, but at least you received something. That’s something someone can’t even dream of, something they can’t afford.
I’m healthy now. I have a boyfriend I love so fucking much and a loving family, and that’s all that matters. My mom always says that there’s no need to wait until Christmas to give somebody a present. Everyday is a good day for a present, no matter what it is. We don’t know if we will die in our sleep, so we have to make the most of our lives. Live, love and laugh all you can. We have so much opportunities others don’t, and that’s enough.
No es más rico el que más tiene, sino el que menos necesita.
He is not richer who the most has, but who the least needs.
— Augustine of Hippo
2011 has been one the hardest years for my family and me. And I don’t speak lightly when I say “hardest”. Thinking of all of those awful moments we went through, made me appreciate this christmas (becase, as you maybe know, I hate almost every kind of holiday).
Every year we give presents to each other, but this one no one had a present. Even though this, our lack money and energy didn’t stop us for having a christmas together.
I never saw my house prettier and warmer than yesterday. I got sick as hell, as every year, but I felt happy and grateful for the first time in a lot of time since I was a kid.
And this doesn’t change the fact that I still want an iPhone, though. But I understand it is something I can’t afford just now.