I originally meant to post this during Thanksgiving, but this season seems appropriate enough. I love Christmas. It’s my most favorite time of year. I love family, friends, cooking, and giving gifts. I love Christmas parties, I love the fellowship, and I love being kind to everyone and having them not look at me strangely… ok *as* strangely as they do other times of the year.
And also, I tell people “Merry Christmas”. I don’t say “Happy Holidays”, “Happy Winder Holiday”, or “My lawyer sez to tell you ‘good luck”. If someone responds with “Happy Chanukah”, or “Happy Kwanza”, or “Happy MishMash Shaloob” I’m not offended by it and I’m happy that they wished me the sentiment so there ya go.
Oh, and to my UK friends, Merry Frumpydumples to ye’
So what’s my Christmas post going to be? Well, it’s about thanking who’s really important to thank. As you all know, I’m a volunteer paramedic and firefighter as well as being a career paramedic and firefighter. This time of year in the small towns, it’s pretty common to have people stop by and offer up sweet treats and tell us “Thank you” for what we do for them. Let me make the blanket statement that I really appreciate it folks, even if my waist line and my pending diabetes doesn’t. However, I don’t think that I deserve your thanks.
I have always gotten more from my service to others than I could ever hope to give back to it. I love EMS and I love the Fire Department and I love helping people. I identify with it and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Even after a solid decade of running my “Life Under the Lights” I can’t imagine doing anything else. I am rewarded a thousand times over by every smile I get, every person I comfort, and every person that I am privileged enough to come into contact with as a caregiver.
So who should the people that wish to thank us actually be thanking?
Well , first thank my wife for every time that I’ve had to get up and leave for a volunteer call in the middle of a family dinner. Thank my kid for every time that I’ve missed out on play time, or story time, or nap time because the pager called me away. Thank my family for all of the times that they’ve had to do without me because I was working mandatory overtime. Thank my wife too for all the nights she sleeps alone because I’m on a 24 and am sleeping at the station. Thank my friends for all the times that I’ve stood them up on plans because I’ve gotten stuck running calls. Thank everyone who cares that I spend time with them, because a lot of the time I could be doing that I’m off caring for everybody else.
Thank the same people for every volunteer or public safety person you know… because without the caring and understanding of the people that truly matter in life for us, we couldn’t be out there doing it for you. They’re the heroes here.
That, and one more thing. I was never in the Military and I probably should have been. This may not be much, but Thank You to all of our Military Men and Women out there serving for me and my family. I can’t write enough to say how much I deeply, and truly appreciate your sacrifice… but from the most humble part of my heart, Thank You for everything you do. The same thanks goes to your families and loved ones as well.
Merry Christmas, Every one.