Fortunately, we have one more weekend before Christmas. One more weekend before we huddle around the Christmas tree waiting to see our family’s responses to our gifts. For many of us Christmas is about buying the right gift for the right person. Unfortunately, for many others Christmas is about receiving the right gift from the right person.
“Santa knows if you’re naughty!” You threaten, as your bank account drains like a California reservoir. Most kids shudder at the thought of not getting what they expect. Even if the “carrot” transiently improves their bratty behavior, the audacity of their expectation dilutes the so-called Christmas spirit.
But, it isn’t just the kids. Unfortunately, adults aren’t much better. That same Christmas spirit makes Black Friday more fun to watch than Rhonda Rousey’s knock out. Don’t you dare take my parking spot! It seems that what the season should be all about isn’t what the season is all about at all.
On December 10, 2015, three heroes lost the opportunity to experience what Christmas should be about. They lost their lives in the line of duty, doing what they do best. Their careers were filled with true Christmas spirit. Night after night and day after day, they risked their lives flying to help those in need. Every time they delivered a patient safely to a trauma center or to a cardiac cath lab, they were giving the right gift to the right person.
This year, their families will experience Christmas differently from the rest of us. They won’t necessarily be preoccupied with sales and parking spots. They won’t be rushing to get hover boards and Kendamas. They will simply be grateful for the time they have with their loved ones.
Marco Lopez, Thomas Hampl and Kyle Juarez will truly be missed this Christmas. Their selflessness should remind us of why Christmas is so important. No gift can replace the moments we have with those we love. What we give will be remembered far longer than what receive.
I remember working with Marco. No matter what he was going through, he would always smile. That was his gift to me. That was the right gift to the right person at the right time. I just wish that he didn’t have to go away for me to realize that.
Make this Christmas special! Those small gifts may mean more than you think….