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I wish I had money to buy gifts for all the people who touch my life in the course of a year.
But if I did, you would be calling me Oprah instead of Carolyn, because those people are legion.
Each year I write a Christmas letter to the family and friends I communicate with less than I should and this year as I thought of a summation, I knew what it had to be:
"Except for a few minor things, I am very, very happy."
And when I think about those minor things that trouble me, I realize how blessed I am.
While Thanksgiving may be the time set aside for giving thanks, it is Christmas that makes me pause and reflect.
For the first time in many years, there is nothing I need–or want–for Christmas.
Two years ago I facetiously asked Santa to help my daughter find a job that utilized her degree. Two weeks later she was gainfully employed.
I asked that Santa allow Nick to get into a major at UGA.
Last week, Nick fulfilled all his classes for a degree and once an internship is complete, he can graduate.
I asked that Spencer not get his driver's license....and that was a selfish request on my part, but like most mothers I worry.
The request wasn't granted, but the license was delayed for 18 months thereby lessening my stress for a while.
This year has been an exceptional year.
I have a job and work in a place where I feel like I belong.
I have found a church that makes me feel like I have worshiped when I leave.
I have very good health for someone on the wrong side of 40.
I have friends who call to check on me when I miss dinner or they don't see my car in the driveway for a few days.
I love and I am loved.
I have made new friends and acquaintances who have inspired by life and made it richer, especially Nadine Lewis, a real-life Rosie the Riveter. At 88, Nadine has shown me that life is worth living every day, and not just when things are going well.
When I grow up I want to be just like her.
I travel to Georgia this weekend to be with my loved ones, but the faces and words of my Florida friends will go with me.
Merry Christmas and who knows, someday you may be calling me Oprah after all.