Dear Santa,

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I have a wish for Christmas and I hope you can kindly make it come true.

It all started the first year I moved away from my home in Azerbaijan to go to school in the US nearly two decades ago. During the months leading up to my first winter break, my university roommates instilled in me a fear of Christmas. International students themselves, they told me that Christmas was the saddest holiday of them all because it got really cold and lonely on our campus. All of the residents would leave the dorms to be with their families, while everything around us, including the roads,  would get smothered with a thick blanket of snow as far as the eye could see. They advised me to go away somewhere, anywhere – the destination didn’t really matter, as long as I distanced myself from the confines of our deserted dorm rooms.  “Or else you will spend your entire holidays homesick and crying,” – they warned.

Already missing my loving family that I left behind, I saw this picture painted for me as my worst nightmare. So I ran away from it as far as I could that winter. Well, I didn’t exactly run – I flew. To Orlando, Florida. To visit the “Happiest Place on Earth”. I made sure I was not alone that Christmas and it ended up being a Christmas, like no other.

I am most grateful for all of the great opportunities and rewarding experiences I had in life, and most of all, I appreciate having met warm caring people everywhere I went since the beginning of my journey. But to this day, it gives me chills to remember the feeling of emptiness that was creeping up on me my first winter away from home.

This past Sunday when I was shopping for today’s Christmas potluck party I had an encounter that reminded me all over again that there are still plenty of people in this world who are not only lonely but also ill, poor and maybe even hungry right now, as you read these lines. Saddened by the sight unfolding in front of me in the lineup at the till I felt both blessed and humbled to be in the right place and at the right time, to be able to make a little difference in a fellow human’s life.

So, my wish is for all of the people in the world to enjoy good health and abundance in their life. And this Holiday Season I wish for everyone to have someone who cares about them, shares love and shows them a truly Merry Christmas.

What is your wish this holiday season? What is one change you would choose to make in the world or in your own life if you could have it all?

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  1. Such a moving story Natella. It touched me to my core. I agree with your wishes and want to add for all of us to be always surrounded by positive and effective people who uplift us and help to bring up the very best in us.

  2. Natella your posts are always so timely and thought provoking! My wish is for more kindness in the world. So many situations could be improved if only people stopped for a moment, took pause, and like you did this weekend; be kind. When it comes down to it, material posessions are but naught and fleeting; kindness and compassion are what matters. #speaktoyourlight #bethechange. Merry Christmas to you and all your family.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this my dear! I agree – kindness is one thing this world needs more of. And it doesn’t have to be something big. Sometimes, the smallest acts of kindness can go a very long way. Merry Chrismas to you and all of your loved ones too!

  3. As usual very touching post! On this Christmas may you enjoy good moments, a lot of hope, but above all, hapiness, dear Natella!!!!

  4. When I read your story Natella, my first thought was how brave you were to leave your Homeland at such a young age in search of a better life in a country on the other side of the world no less. Going through that experience has definitely heightened your awareness of others that are dealing with similar circumstances this holiday season and your Christmas wish is truly admirable. This will be my family’s first Christmas after the loss of a Matriarch earlier in the year and there is a noticeable void that she has left in her wake. Her loss has reminded me to cherish those small moments with my loved ones, to be available to help my dear friends when they need my support, and to simply enjoy my life. Thank you for a year of great articles Natella. Every week you consistently found a way to challenge me to be a better person. I appreciate it. Merry Christmas and all the best in 2018.

    1. Thank you so much for your on-going support dear Jason! without your insightful comments and observations, this blog would have never been the same!
      As for my experiences crossing the oceans in the search of a better life, yes, it has been quite a journey and I definitely learned a alot on my way. As I said in my post, the best part was meeting all of these amazing people and hopefully playing a tiny part in their lives as well.

      I am sorry about your loss. The person you are talking about sounds like someone who played an important role in your family’s life. She left a void you said and she probably left a legacy as well. Wishing you the strength to go on with this first Christmas without this important family member, and the strength to move on with the rest of your life. All my best wishes this Holiday Season and for the New Year!

  5. Thank you for such a wonderful post, Natella. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Looking forward for your new posts in 2018.💖💖💖

  6. Thank you for a year filled with thought-provoking inspiring posts. And what a great way to finish off the year. All the best to you in 2018 and looking forward to your future posts!