What followed was a sudden texting flurry of 'I'm so glad we're friends' gushing that lasted for at least a half-hour and warmed my heart. The kicker here, however, is that I've never actually met Cassandra in person. In almost twenty years, our friendship has been maintained solely by hand-written correspondence and occasional text messaging.
During this busy holiday time, I'm very grateful for friends like her, both near and far. At the post office Wednesday to mail holiday packages, I felt a rush of excitement knowing all of our gifts would soon be on their way to so many friends far away. This morning, I packaged up small handmade gifts to exchange when my knitting group has our annual holiday gathering later this week. It will be a Tasha Tudor themed gathering, with gifts and treats all handmade/homemade, and it was so much fun to wrap the items up and began making treats to share,
It's so much fun to have my friends here, in my home, celebrating the holidays with us! Just as it is fun to anticipate Christmas packages from friends I don't see often enough, or maybe, like Cassandra, have never seen at all!
Friends bring such an added blessing to our lives, and this is never more evident than during the holidays! While our families provide our roots and our support system as we're growing and learning to make our way in the world, I feel it is our friends who give us the wings we need to fly out and explore. Our friends are often the ones who encourage us to get out there and live our one and only wild and precious lives, to not be afraid of change, to keep our minds and hearts open...
It takes much effort in the course of our busy lives to connect with others, but it is so essential and vital to our happiness and well-being. It's easy to get so caught up with our work, families and home that we forget the importance of friendships, which do take time and energy to maintain, but the time and energy is so worth it!
If there is a friend you've been meaning to write, talk with, or visit, the holiday season is the perfect time! Send a card, call to say hello, or bake a batch of Christmas cookies and drop them by!
'Tis the season, after all!
I've chosen to illustrate this post with pictures from a birthday gathering held for me by my friend Virginia at her lovely home this past October.