Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas wishes from Eileen Parr

It's 5am on Christmas morning. I'm not awake because I want to see if Santa has visited but I am awake before the rest of the family.

So I'm taking a few minutes to be grateful before we launch into a day of feasting and presents.

The first thing I'm grateful for is a history of happy childhood Christmases. I was surrounded by those who loved me and early in my life, encouraged to be part of the world of books and writing. Annuals and Enid Blyton books sitting at the foot of the bed to give my parents chance to sleep longer!

That love of books has been at the core of my life and I hope will remain so and I've seen it passed on to my nieces and now great niece. Many of the presents surrounding the tree downstairs are books.

And I'm grateful that as a family we emphasise creating experiences rather than merely acquiring stuff. My great niece did a rough count of the presents and we were amazed at how many. If it sounds as if we've spent a fortune, we haven't. Limits on spending turn us creative about what we ask for and buy for the others.

My sister spent some time last week, doing a trawl round the charity shops looking for books for one of my nieces. She came back in triumph having succeeded in finding some authors she wanted to pass on.

This year I'm especially grateful that I'm building connections across the world with those whose love of words leads them to help others with their knowledge, skills and passion.

My love of books and words and the pleasure and connections it's brought me over my life so far is beyond any economic value I can assign to it.

Instead it's opened up worlds for me beyond anything I might have imagined in childhood.

On this Christmas morning, I hope that there's something, whether books or not, that opens your life out in the same way.

All blessings.

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