A Christmas Gratitude

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I am so grateful for another year with my family.  It is such a blessing to have them around, to feel the love, to share memories, to make more memories, to have fun, and to enjoy each other’s company.  The energy in my house over the last week has been through the roof.  The chaos of the final touches on the house, prepping the cookies, buying for the meal, finishing shopping, the wrapping…good Lord.  Honestly, it’s always so much work. But I haven’t regretted it once in all the years I’ve been doing it. 

See, Christmas was a magical time of year for me growing up.  Yes, of course as a child I loved the gifts, the getting, and all of the delicious overindulgence of the season.  But the year I turned 14, I really understood and developed a different love for the holiday.  I had seen how stressed my parents were about the whole thing—they were working a lot and didn’t have time to set up the house how they wanted to.  My dad always struggled to get into the spirit (the season is rough for him) but he usually comes around—but he had a hard time that Christmas.  So, that year, I did it myself.  I dragged that tree (that was half my weight at the time) up the stairs, I set up that entire thing up on my own, branch by branch, lights and all (I saved the ornaments because the whole family loved that), and I put the lights and decorations up around the house.  The relief and joy on my mom’s face in particular was what did it for me.

From that moment on, Christmas was my thing.  I consistently went overboard—anyone’s desire was my command from food, to cookies, to decorating, to presents.  I wanted everyone to feel the joy I did.  The magic was completely in giving.  I still do that to this day.  I go overboard for my kid, for my family. This year I have 6 trees in my house…yeah.  And honestly, if that can bring a little magic to the world for a little while, then I am happy to do it.  I want to allow that joy in my life as often as I can and I am so grateful for it. 

The truth is we never know how much time we get.  The years pass faster and faster, suddenly there are fewer people around the tree, the table, in the house.  I want to create something that makes them forget about that for a while.  I want it to be pure joy, laughter, love.  I want to give them the memory of someone who loved them and who did everything to open the way for magic to take over.  And for me, I love the feelings it brings back.  I remember going to my grandparent’s houses and being in awe over how things looked, the food, all of us together.  Maybe because that was the time all the nonsense from the year went out the window.  We all loved each other, we all had fun.   I want that to be the same for others always when they come to my home.   

We know logically that Christmas isn’t about getting, and I know first hand that all I put into the holiday, not a bit of it is for me (except the lights…all the lights make me insanely happy—Thank you to my husband for letting me go overboard!).  It is without a shred of doubt about the care of others, the love of others.  Imagine a world operating like that all the time.  That’s why it feels so special to me, not just the memories, but the hope it suggests, the hope I have felt, and the reality that feeling those things is possible.  If we can do it at one time of the year, let’s do it more.  The time we have is the most precious thing available so let’s utilize it well and shift toward the light.  Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and wishing the spirit of the holidays to all with any holiday you celebrate!

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