As I get myself all organized, lists made, the letters written and address book at the ready, I realized that my address book sheds light on my life, and as I work my way alphabetically through it, I see so many changes in the past year.
Sadly many have died, and their names are crossed out, leaving just their partner's name or no one at all. Others have since gotten divorced and again, their name stands alone or they have moved and there is a brand new entry (or if I am more honest a scrap of paper with the new address written on it.)
There are names of people I haven't seen in years. I maybe used to work with them, but our paths no longer cross and I ponder what has happened to them. And then there's those that I am not friendly with any more -- the friendship has gone sour and they are no longer in my inner circle of friends.
What is also interesting is that I don't have the addresses for my new friends, people I have met during the year and with whom I have formed a friendship. Makes me wonder what they need to do to "graduate" and become an address book entry?
Of course these days most people likely don't even have an address book but keep all the information on their computers. Certainly that is a more efficient and accurate way to keep track of friends and family. But then you wouldn't have the opportunity to revisit your memories of the people in your book or to reflect on what they mean to you.
My address book reflects a life lived in two countries -- the UK and Canada -- and while we emigrated to Canada from the UK over 37 years ago, we still have maintained our relationships with friends back there. I look forward to our exchange of Christmas letters and when we go back, we visit and take up our friendship from where we left off.
I am also of an age where sadly friends have died and those lines through their names don't even begin to reveal my sense of loss at their passing.
But I am constantly making new friends which is exciting. I am fortunate because with my line of work in running Company of Women, I am always meeting such fascinating people and those fledgling relationships fuel my energy for what I am doing.
However, this year I realize that it is time to get a new address book so I can add the new folks and start afresh and get rid of the "baggage" from the past. My address book is like my life -- I am learning to accept what I can't change (death of friends), delete the negativity (soured relationships) and welcome with open arms the new (acquaintances fast becoming close friends.)
What would your address book tell you? Is it time to start over with a new book too? Do you need to clean house and remove some of the names? Or do you need to check in and recapture a friendship that has fallen off the tracks? Are there new people you want to include?
Think of your address book as a balance sheet on your life. Make sure the assets outweigh the liabilities. Writing off toxic or damaged relationships can be so freeing while reaching out to stay connected with people we care about can help us fill our lives with happiness.
Who knew that writing Christmas cards could be so illuminating?
For the kid who loves to think big -- real big. This Barbie dreamhouse has three stories, seven rooms, and an elevator. Recommended Age: 3 years and up Price: $150
For the kid who loves speed. The Air Hogs Hyperactives Pro RC vehicle lets kids defy gravity, attempt crazy climbs and gives them the ability to take full control.<br> Recommended Age: 4 to 6 years<br> Price: $45
For the next big jewellery designer. The Bizo TV studio lets children transform over 15, 000 combinations of accessories into collectables. <br> Recommended Age: 6+ years <br> Price: $25
For the kid who wants to get in the driver's seat. Cars 2 fans can bring their favourite Cars characters to life with Air Hog's fully-controlled replicas. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $50
For the creative kid who loves to build and rebuild. Wall Tracks brings stunts, speed and trucks to new heights. Kids can create and build their own tracks -- right on the wall. <br> Recommended Age: 4 to 6 years<br> Price: $45
For the next cheerleader in your household. The Peppy Pom Poms version includes fashion accessories and pet dog. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $35
For the kids who love to be challenged -- and learn. The LeapPad tablet is equipped with over 100 games and includes a built-in camera and voice recorder.<br> Recommended Age: 4 to 9 years<br> Price: $110
For the kids with a large imaginations. Lego Ninjago lets kids create their own playground and train an ultimate ninja team. The Set includes a spinner, three mini-figures, four weapons, character cards and four battle cards.<br> Recommended Age: 7 to 14 years <br> Price: $65
For the kid who always wanted to be a rock star. Donning a black tee, tambourine and drum set, Let's Rock! Elmo takes the stage singing and creating music.<br> Age: 18 months and up<br> Price: $75
For the kid who always wanted his or her own squad with an alternative twist. The girls in Monster High include fashion accessories, come with a set of pom poms and a Skullete megaphone. <br> Recommended Age: 6 to 12 years <br> Price: $50
For the kid who always wanted a puppy. This life-like dog wags her tail, moves her head in and makes puppy talk when pet lovers talk to her. Plus, parents won't have any mess to clean up.<br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $65
For the kid who likes to take control. The Nerf Vortex Praxis, with pump-action power and a removable 10-disc clip lets warriors go the distance and take down targets. <br> Recommended Age: 7 to 14 years <br> Price: $30
For the kid who wants to catch them all. This Pokemon carry case allows kids to travel and collect their favourite Pokemons. It also includes three bonus figures. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $35
For the kids who want to create their own monster world. The Moshi Monster virtual village lets kids buy their own furniture, food and toys for their monster. Not to mention the plush versions are super cute. <br> Recommended Age: 5+ years <br> 1 pack: $3 <br> 3 pack: $7 <br> Plush: $13 <br>
For the kid -- and adult --who loves the old-school Power Ranger. The Samurai Megazord consists of five animal vehicles that stand over 10 inches tall. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $35
For the kid who loves to duel. Redakai's starter pack lets gamers start training to become the next master Kairu warrior.<br> Recommended Age: 4 to 11 years <br> Price: $16
For the kid who loves little blue men and women. And parents, you may have some nostalgic moments as well. These 23-inch plush toys from the classic show and recent film includes Papa Smurf, Smurfette and Clumsy.<br> Recommended Age: 4 to 6 years<br> Price: From $18 to $35
For the kids who wish they could travel to outer space. This Star Wars LEGO sets lets kids build their own ice planet base and prepare for any enemies. <br> Recommended Age: 7 to 14 years <br> Price: $120
For the kid who loves video games. The Skylanders have used their magical powers to protect Skylands but now, an evil tyrant has frozen them and banished them to Earth. Only gamers can bring them back to life and be the heroes. Available for Xbox, Wii and Sony PS3.<br> Recommended Age: 10+ years <br> Price: $70
For the kid who is eager to join the Autobots. Let the battle begin, Optimus Prime's blasting battle sounds, weapon lights and launching missile sounds are the perfect features for this robot. <br> Recommended Age: 5 to 7 years <br> Price: $90
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