My gifts finally arrived in Ireland, with a little less fanfare than my grand plan for them to be sneaked under the tree for Christmas morning. I could gripe about the post, but I am overjoyed they actually arrived. I know I got plenty to be happy with from them, and this was but a small token.
In return, I made my way to the Post Office, knowing that 3 cards were on their way to me. Instead I collected a package and multiple cards. The cards were special cards, not the box set I had sent out at the end of November. I had a beautiful red one from a special little Redhead and her Mummy, one for a Special Cousin from a very special friend, and one from a very special friend Across The Miles. There is a beautiful green handmade crepe card, and another one from my Mum, Dad and Sister. I list them to remind myself; I was that overwhelmed by each one and the thought that went into them.
And the package: a surprise as I ripped it open and could not believe who it was from: some people you work with are colleagues; others become fast friends forever. Tayto crisps, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Tea Bags though I am unsure if they are Lyons’ or Barry’s, a copy of Ireland’s Own with our wonderful Donegal star Daniel O’ Donnell on the cover, santa earrings and a skiing reindeer and as much love as I could ever need. Given it was these individuals who landed me 1000s of miles from home in the first place with their advice, sometimes gentle and whispered, sometimes loud and glaring, I guess it was the least they could do to send me some home comforts. I can see them in their office, making the list, packing it up, laughing and conspiring. Even their card was special, a simple rural scene, but on the back I see it is produced to raise money for Buncrana Concerned About Suicide Community Group and I love them for supporting local, supporting those we have all cared for, who work to make the world better by working in the community with those who need it most. The most touching part of the package was a Christmas poem by Patrick Kavanagh. I still remember studying that poem for my Leaving Certificate, and even in the summer, feeling Christmas in its verses. Each item was a massive gift in itself.
Opening all these envelopes, I felt like a kid at, well, Christmas. I have thankyou notes to write now, a special thought as those cards deserve a few extra words for the New Year ahead.