When Grandpa got up with the rising sun, he did not expect
that the front door wouldn’t open. Neither the back. He knew it was going to be
a difficult day. But for some, it would be exactly the opposite.
He tip-toed into Jenny’s room and gently shook her to waken
her from dreamland. She half-opened her eyes and stretched every inch of her small
“Good morning, Grandpa,”
“There’s a surprise
outside your window,” he smiled.
She jumped out of bed and looked outside.
Everything was white. An impeccable white blanket had
covered everything as far as she could see. It was snowing all night and it
continued to do so now. They were snowed in.
Grandpa was concerned because they were somewhat isolated in
the village and their resources were scarce. He was planning to go into town today,
had the weather permitted it. But few things in life usually go according to
Jenny was excited; she was jumping up and down and rushing
to put on warm clothes in order to run outside. It was freezing, but enthusiasm
always keeps you warm.
“Come on Grandpa, let’s
go build a snowman!” she called as she tried to open the door.
The old man used a shovel, back-aching and almost sweating
in the sub-zero temperatures, striving to open the door.
When he succeeded the little girl ran outside and dived into
There wasn’t much he could do anyway. He just had to wait
for assistance. So they might as well have some fun in the meantime.
Snow beautifies everything. It is nature’s magic that fills
your soul with wonder.
It was always on the table. Ever since it was set there in a
ceremonial style by the two of them.
No matter what happened after that, the fights, the
disagreements, the shouting, the heartbreaks, it was there. Left there as a
constant reminder of the good times.
Because the bad tempers would pass. And the light would be
The glass jar of coloured papers represented exactly that. The
positivity of our lives. The need to realise that it is not all black and
white. That there is colour. The one we create and we are responsible for
It was snowing when he set foot outdoors. If it was up to
him, he wouldn’t have, but his mother forced him to go out in search of the
required groceries for lunch. He was the sort of person who always found
excuses not to do something. He would constantly say he wanted to but it was simply not possible because of a series of pretexts
he would cough up at the moment.
Procrastinating was Tommy’s expertise. But as he matured, he
found that there were things you could simply not postpone. And the less you
did, the more reliable you would become and the better status you would obtain
as a person and as a character.
But the most memorable lesson, he learnt in a cabin in the
woods that day he went off-track.
It was a wooden cabin below the snowy mountains. Adjacent
was a lake in which two magnificent swans were found. It seemed almost mythical.
He approached in hope it would offer solace from the extreme cold.
Above the front door there was a sign that read “When there’s a will there’s a way, when
there’s none there’s delay”. He
knocked on the door and waited. Then he knocked again. There was no response.
After a while, as his hands began to turn numb from the
cold, he decided to search for a back door.
There was one with an “entry”
Inside was a carpenter. One of the type he had only read
about in storybooks.
“It took you long
enough,” he told Tommy as he led him to a seat near the blaring fireplace
and offered him a cup of steaming hot tea.
“Had you figured out
the meaning of the sign sooner, your hands wouldn’t have turned so pale from
the frostbite,” the carpenter explained.
“Simply stating your
desire or intention to do something does not make it real. It’s when you act
upon it that it happens. And that is what matters. Because others can’t see
your intentions, they can only judge you by your actions”.
Tommy was beginning to understand. This meeting was not by
chance. In fact, he had never seen this cabin in this part of the valley
“Stop denying the fact
that you’re delaying things. Or simply not doing them. The time to act is now,
not later. You don’t know what will happen later on. If you can do something
now, why are you waiting? What for? There is always time to do something
important. To show others you care. If
you can act, and if you’re going to use your intention in your defence later
on, why procrastinate? If it is significant, you do it. That is what others
will see. And what matters most, is what you show”.
Tommy drank his last sip and was ready to leave.
There was nothing he could say. After all, this meeting was
not for him to speak, but to listen.
“Character is built on
the strength of your actions”, he heard the carpenter say as he waved him
The Christmas-New Year festive
season gives us the opportunity to rethink a lot of things in our lives. Least
of all, who our real friends are, who are the ones who actually care and with
whom we want to spend these special days with.
But the season also grants you the
chance to view life in a different perspective. To set goals and ambitions, to
consider how many of your wishes have already been fulfilled and to become more
determined about realising the others. It makes you stop for a minute and think
what we really need to be happy and satisfied with ourselves and the life we
In the current times, what is
perhaps most important is the time you spend offline. Those moments you don’t post online for all to see and
envy. The hours you spend away from your screens and without the temptation of
needing to look at your phone every now and then.
You feel special not because of
the digital life you pretend to have, but because of the people who actually
surround you in reality. Who truly show they care and who go out of their way
to surprise you simply to see you smile as brightly as the lights over your
It’s the moments that make you
shine and sparkle that make your life complete.
And we should always make it a New
Year’s Resolution to have more of them.
If you’re born
on December 25, you find that you are filled with complaints during this
time of year. Mainly because you feel wronged in so many ways and because you
fear that you’ll be forgotten in the festivities.
There is a strange feeling in that everyone is counting down
to your birthday. But not everyone is as excited as you for it. And the worst
is that you spend the entire year waiting for this one day, when everything is
crammed into one.
As a child – but also as an adult – you feel wronged in that
you only get one present. It’s not that you are ungrateful for it. It’s just
that it is completely unfair that everyone else gets to receive a Christmas
present, a birthday present and even a Nameday present. Yet, all you get is one
that encompasses them all.
You also feel neglected when everyone wishes you “Merry
Christmas” but only a few remember it’s your birthday too. It is somehow lost
in all the fanfare. And to you it is simply not fair.
With a Christmas Birthday, you feel everything more
intensely and experience it all to the fullest possible. But at times, you’re
also bound to feel left out. Because you lack a day for yourself. And your
unavoidable protests about that may make you seem ungrateful. But if you think
about it, you may understand that it is not so.
The only thing you can do is cherish the fact that you were
born during the season that fills people with love and joy. The time when there
are lights everywhere, carolling and rejoicing. It is special that you came
into the world exactly at this time. The people who matter will remember that regardless
and they will try to make this day as unforgettable as possible.
Have you ever considered what you wish for the most? Because
as you grow older (and somewhat wiser) it is not material things you wish for. You
start longing for things you can’t actually grasp. Love, experiences, hope, time,
positive thoughts and days filled with wonderful experiences
We begin to realise that we make wishes to be able to
maintain our smiles and good mood for as long as possible. To be able to have
time to share with the people with love as much as possible. To be able to
relish each and every day to the fullest possible.
We make wishes not of things to have, but of emotions to
feel and experiences to live.
And most of all, we wish that the days to come until the
next wish will not take anything away from us. We wish for good health, love
and happiness and for a life worth remembering.
It’s not things that make life worthwhile, it’s the people
you devote it to and the way you spend your time. It’s how you feel, not what
There are some commercials that are so mesmerising, you get
lost in them and you are left wondering what on earth that mind-blowing scene
had to do with the product it advertises. That is how good it is. Because it
makes everyone discuss it, becoming viral in record-breaking time, even if
no-one even knows what the product does. But it has achieved the greatest
marketing target of all: it is being talked about.
It makes you really stop for a minute or two and think.
Because it makes you realise that we don’t have all that
time we think we do.
It talks about how we all consider our loved ones our
priority, yet we spend so much time apart and on screens instead that we don’t
see so much of each other.
We are programmed to avoid thinking about how long we’ve got
left to live, so we think that we will always have the chance to do the things
that really make us happy.
It makes you realise how much time we actually waste doing
things that don’t really make us happy.
Using a calculation and data from the National Institute of
Statistics, an algorithm
was created to find out how much time we have left to spend with our loved ones
given our habits, age and routine. But would you really want to know this
truth? Wouldn’t you rather simply be made aware of it and do something about
it? To change the fact that we spend so much time in a virtual world rather
than in the real one?
The commercial serves as a wake-up call. A reminder that the
things that truly matter are not things; they are the people who are with you, the
emotions you feel around them and the experiences you share with them.
“Life teaches us to
make good use of time, while time teaches us the value of time”.
He hadn’t been around for days now and Mrs Claus was getting worried. He was the smallest of the litter, although the feistiest one and,truth be told, he was her favourite.
But it was three days now that he had not shown up, not even during feeding times. She had asked his mother and brothers, but would only get a vague reply from his sister. She was probably just asking for more food.
She looked everywhere for him. In the toy factory, in the elves’ dorms, in the sleigh, in the kitchen, in the cupboards, in the sweet shops, everywhere. He was nowhere to be seen. And the worse part was that no-one else had seen him either.
Mrs Claus decided she had to call for reinforcements.
So she told Santa that her favourite kitten had gone missing.
“What if he’s been catnapped? He was the cutest of the lot,” she said in despair.
“No, no, he is around here somewhere,” Santa tried to reassure her.
They called out his name, rang bells and food plates, but nothing.
They even asked the reindeer, but to no avail.
As snow began to fall heavier outside, Mrs Santa became all the more worried that he was somewhere alone and cold.
But then, just as it happens with all things you look too hard for and then you find them when you stop searching – the little cat appeared on its own.
It was Santa who first spotted him when he saw his toy bag juddering on the sleigh. He knew it was not any of the toy robots, because they had no batteries installed. As he raised the opening of the bag slightly to peek inside, he saw two bright eyes staring back at him. They were accompanied by a faint “meow”. One that Mrs Claus heard, however, and rushed over just in time to see the little lion walk merrily out of the bag, unaware of all the commotion he had caused.
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that cause your heart to skip a few beats. It is only then that you acknowledge their importance.
This was her favourite time of year. Not because of the festive holiday season and the magic that spread everywhere, but because she loved the feeling of snuggling up somewhere warm with a hot beverage and good company.
He shared the feeling. Because it reminded him of how wonderful it was to feel like a child again. To be excited with the little things, to play without caring what others thought, and to rekindle his lust for life.
She brought that out in him. She made him happy.
And he made her forget everything that bothered her. He turned her negative obsessions to positive aspirations.
That night of a new moon, he took her hand and led her to a Christmas market. There were jingles in the air, the smell of roasting chestnuts, happy cheers and lots and lots of bright lights.
And in the midst of it all was that magical place.
He helped her onto a plastic almost life-size horse and his eyes sparkled as he saw her smile lighting up her entire face. Her eyes were two diamonds in the night. And he knew he was simply lucky to be there.
It is the people who rekindle that feeling of being a child who are most deserved to be loved by you. Because they remind you of that lost innocence and of that bewilderment at every single thing in life. Witness things as a miracle and you have found happiness.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it” – Roald Dahl