What is the best present you've ever been given? Have you ever been given a present which was totally unexpected but absolutely perfect? Or maybe been given exactly what you'd hoped for but didn't expect to get?
With Christmas around the corner it's nice to look back on previous birthdays and christmases and, not to sound like a horrible cliche, remember all the good times we've had.
And especially this year I feel it more poignantly becasue, in February, my friend's Dad passed away after a long struggle with cancer. This will be her family's first Christmas without him. Of course everyday must be difficult, reminders of him are everywhere and that will always hurt but in a way, its lovely. They have a young son and for him, having little bits of his Dad everywhere is wonderful and so integral to keeping his memory alive. But at this time of year, when the rest of us are celebrating and indulging and enjoying ourself, she must carry with her the sadness of her Dads' loss.
And so, at this time of year, and particularly today when im in a reflective mood like today, I like to think about the things that make the highlights of my past. So whilst I've been writing this, I've been trying to think of my best ever birthday or christmas present and keep drawing a blank. When I think of those days, the things I remember aren't the presents but the messages written inside the cards and the people I've spent the day with. Those people, my friends and family, are the most important things to me, without them, I can't imagine...