My absolute favorite holiday is Christmas! Growing up, we did not celebrate Christmas and I realize that has given me a huge gift! The gift is this: as I began in my adult years to celebrate this holiday, and had such a wonderful, joyful experience of doing so, I noticed that a lot of adults were not having as much fun. It seemed as though the hustle and bustle, figuring out gifts, getting trees, hanging lights, all created a “chore” out of Christmas. It became stressful and the fun had disappeared for them.
What was different for me was that I was experiencing Christmas from a child’s perspective. It was new for me. It was something I had dreamed of, and wanted when I was a child, but couldn’t have. Now I had it! The lights, the excitement, the colors ~ it was magical! To have that experience as an adult, to be so innocent and excited ~ that was so much fun!!
When we grow up, maybe we get “real” about Christmas and that’s where it loses its magic. It becomes a chore, another thing to do, rather than an experience to be had. I remember the year when it started feeling burdensome to me. I asked myself, “Why am I not having as much fun this year?” I realized it was because it was not so “new” and it was becoming “work” rather than “play.” I made a conscious choice not to let that happen! There is no reason to lose the fun and excitement of Christmas! It simply doesn’t have to be that way.
I would like to offer you a gift. If you can, sit down when you are done reading this article and close your eyes. Remember back to one of your favorite and most fun memories of Christmas as a child. Get in touch with the feelings of excitement, fun and absolutely uncontainable joy. Just feel what that feels like. Breathe. If you haven’t hung your lights, put up your tree or shopped (and whatever else you think you “need” to do), see how you can do that from your child perspective … the place of fun, excitement and joy. Can you do it with your kids? Can you get excited about surprising someone with a special gift? What about making gifts this year? What can you do to recreate the magic for yourself? Ask your kids what makes Christmas magical for them. What makes Christmas magical for you? Make a point to include at least some of that in your holiday this year!
This is the end of the year. We have been working, building and creating for 11 months. Now that we have some time off from school, and hopefully some time off from work, let’s take a moment to touch the magic of the lights, the spirit of giving, and the attitude of gratitude that we have this time to be together. Are there people in your life that were here last year and are now gone (moved, passed away, or your relationship simply changed)? Thank them in your heart for their contribution to your life. Wish them well. Breathe. Absorb the moments that are ending this year and setting the foundation for next year. Enjoy your kids. Savor the moments. This is the only year Christmas will be experienced this way, at these ages, with these experiences. Every year will be new and different. Will you teach your children to savor these magical moments, or will they grow to resent the work that it takes to create them? Just a thought.
Love is all that is real. Regardless of our differences in religion and/or ways of life, love is something that is consistent and real. Make love and gratitude your focus, and your life will absolutely be beautiful.
Merry Christmas! May you enjoy many hugs and much love this season!