I'm wearing an offensively soft egyptian terry cotton robe right now. I just got out of the solid marble steam room that's in my bathroom. Before that I was soaking with some lavender sea salts in the raised jacuzzi tub, also off my bedroom. Before that I was having my ass kissed by a variety of casino employees.
That's right, I'm in the penthouse suite of the Luxor hotel.
Yesterday a friend of mine called me to ask how to play Blackjack. He was at the luxor playing rather large hands of blackjack. So large, in fact, that they offered him the penthouse suite, which must be at least 4000 sq. ft. He offered to fly me up to occupy the second bedroom of the suite. At first I declined - I don't like to accept favors I can't repay.
On On the Road to Find Out
As a (divorced) father of two children, for me somehow Christmas was a time that made me feel incredibly guilty for the twisted situation I had helped to put my kids in - it was a time to subconsciously ask for their forgiveness by showing them how much I loved them by showering them with things. Remember strolling up and down every isle in Toys "R" Us thinking to myself, "If I was my son...If I was my daughter, what would I want." And the crazy thing is I didn't stop at one toy or 13, if I saw something I thought I'd want at their age, I bought it.
But the real lessons for me in all of this and what inevitably brought an end to the madness was what actually transpired on Christmas mornings when the presents got opened. The first lesson came when my son was three and after he tore the paper off and opened oodles and oodles of gifts, in the end what he was playing with was this huge ball of tin foil one of them had been wrapped in, not one of the dozens of new toys he just unwrapped. The thing that happened which ended the insanity for me a few years later was when my 4 year old daughter, after opening what must have been 30 different things and came to the end of her personal mountain of gifts asked with disbelief, "That's all daddy?"
Finally the light shined on me. The "joy" came not from the quantity or even quality of the gift - the real spirit of Christmas is just being together with the ones you love most. The joy is not in the getting, it's in the giving. A gift I have discovered, is as magical a present for not only the person receiving but equally for the one presenting it. The first step to put out in to the Universe a request for something very special for that special someone, to go out and find something that moves you, it talks to you when you see it on the shelf or your computer screen or a suggestion given to you by a friend. In that object or what ever it is you are giving, you know in your soul it was meant for them. What I have since learned is that even more wonderful than a gift of a thing is to give something of yourself.