Every year, we get together with my husband’s extended family to celebrate Christmas, and we usually have between 15 to 20 kids there. For the last couple of years, I’ve been asked to make cupcakes for the kids. This year, I decided on Santa ones. They take me a good three hours to make from start to finish, but getting big hugs and smiles from little ones makes it all worthwhile.
Since getting married, Sean and I have been starting some of our own holiday traditions. This year, we had my Dad over for brunch Christmas morning, and I made eggs Benedict for the first time, Sean’s favourite breakfast meal. My family loved it, so for the years when we have breakfast/brunch at our home, this will be our Christmas menu with loads of fruit, good coffee and mimosas.
Simple, slightly indulgent, and a little bit more special.
Wednesday marked two years since my Mom passed away. It seems like forever ago since I had the chance to hug her, talk to her, drop by to see her, or eat her delicious food. Sean says that her yukaechang (spicy Korean soup) is better than any other. The sharp pain in my chest when I think of missing her has not faded, and a flood of tears will still come at any moment. Every stressful or hard day is made worse because my Mom isn’t here to tell me that like all things, this too will pass. She was always my greatest source of comfort.
My Mom was the most generous person I know. She would always put others before herself, and her heart was always drawn to those in need. During this Christmas season, my eyes have been opened to the needs around me: Families who can’t afford Christmas presents or a tree, a son caring for his father who has the onset of Alzheimer’s, people who have to work Christmas Eve/Day, children and people without families or are away from their families and people who don’t have warm homes and good food to eat.
Our pastor recently said that generosity is something she feels is learned. I’ve been privileged enough to see my Mom giving to others my whole life. Her greatest life lesson to me has been to live generously, and like her, I hope to love on others and give to others just as she had always done. Whenever I do things for those less fortunate, I think of her. I think of how if she were here today, she would be doing the same thing, and in some way, it makes me feel closer to her. One day, when Sean and I have little ones of our own, I will tell them of my Mom’s generous heart, and how God has given us much so that we may give to others. I will tell them of the woman with two copper coins who gave to God all that she had (a story from the Bible my Mom would tell me often), and teach them of storing their treasures in Heaven, and not here on Earth.
When I look back on my Mom’s short life, I think of how many lives she’s touched, and how many people she has helped. Her life is a testament to me of what it means to walk the Christian life. Jesus loved the broken, poor and unloved, and with all that God has given me, and in my Mom’s memory, I want to remember to live each day generously.