Right about this time last year, I set into motion a wish that would unfold over the course of 2010 and result in me being right here, right now: spending Christmas in New York. It may not have been a white one, but it was certainly a lovely one – despite not being able to spend it in the physical presence of my immediate family and friends I adore.
Family is a fluid thing, a construct that sometimes bends and shapes according to our needs. In the past, with my mom being in England and my dad having to work on Christmas Day, close friends have stepped in and adopted me (and sometimes my brother too!) for the day – making sure I am well-fed and my soul nourished by the joy found in sharing special moments with others.
As we get older, presents take on other forms, and so we may not need to receive them only at Christmas time. They will be there for us when we need them. So too, family.
This Christmas, Rita became my Santa Claus and Lihle a mom-like figure who made sure I had my fill of gammon, samp and Malva Pudding in a warm home. I thank them. And I thank Angela, Mrs and Mr Walker, Tarin and Rory, Kyle and his mom Judy and dad Leon, for previous years, and then, Tracy B and her crazy ex-neighbours for the Boxing Day antics that have followed my Christmas Day for the past five years. Tomorrow, like today, I will miss sharing that special occasion with those I have come to know and love. And so, I shall toast to the great memories that have been and the memories still to be made, richer for the fact that I have been so lucky enough to know such good people in my life.