My husband wanted a train set to put under the tree for Christmas. I rolled my eyes, just as I did the year before and the year before that.
He’s 53 years old. We have no children. In my head, I’m thinking that’s quite juvenile. But this year as we were at the mall when he brought it up yet again, I found myself not caring as much or maybe I was feeling some Christmas spirit and nonchalantly mumbled, “Sure.” (I never had, the past years.)
We split up, our budget in our pockets, and went separate ways shopping for presents for each other. About an hour later, we met up and with a big smile on his face he proudly announced he got a train set for $25. The first thing that came out of my mouth was “Did you get that from my gift budget?!” He admitted, still smiling, “Yes,” pure as a child.
We get home, took turns in separate rooms wrapping each other’s presents. After we piled everything under the tree, he unwrapped the train box and gingerly started assembling the tracks. I document everything with photos and I took a picture of him laying on the floor going about his business. I reviewed the photo and the look on his face, one of pure, almost childish joy, could not escape me.
Unexpectedly, that joy resonated with me as he announced I was in charge of installing the wheels. Without my typical, almost automatic protestations, I found myself just saying “Ok” and with equal excitement started working on them.
We set everything up around the tree with the presents piled in the middle. We put the batteries on and then the moment of truth came when we had to switch it on. He gave me the honor to do it.
And it felt as magical as if it was the eight year old me who did it. I squealed with its every turn and I took close up videos and photos of it.
Sometimes, it’s not the things we think of that would make us happy. It’s not the expensive jewelry. Not the designer handbags. Nor the trip to an exotic place.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as a $25 train set. Shared with someone who has not lost sight of the simple delights…the simple things in life we squealed about as a child. I am lucky to have a person like that. Someone who can remind me that sometimes, what matters most in life is not something you have to pay a pretty penny for. It could be something that can simply take you back to a place where something as innocent as a plastic choo choo train running around a Christmas tree could bring you so much joy.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all and your loved ones.
Wishing you the simple good things in life,
Lillian Too’s Mandala Member, Marge
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