And just like that December is here. Christmas joy is in the air as we prepare for one of the most peaceful days of the year. No matter who you are or what you believe in, one cant help but to feel the overwhelming joy of Christmas. The undeniable feeling of anticipation for a day filled with love, sacrifice and peace. A day filled with traditions, family, loved ones, good food, quality time and most importantly a heart full of gratitude for the Past, the Present, and the Future.
FOR ONE DAY, maybe people are a little softer, a little kinder, a little more gracious, more tolerant, more loving, more willing to be open to forgiveness.
In my last blog post I discussed gratitude during the holiday season and how I stay grounded, focused and present during a very busy time of year. As I've gotten older I realize how my childhood Christmas past has influenced my adult Christmas present. I also discussed this in the latest Podcast episode, Episode # 19 at Prescriptions for the Heart, entitled, "All Things Christmas...2021" to which you can listen to directly from this website under Podcasts or simply click here! https://open.spotify.com/playlist/40i8TzEq3xvGjyrFH45syp?si=d9sMCLrTTiakw4T7_5Ex5g&utm_source=native-share-menu
It occurred to me how much the simple acts of Christmas offer me a sense of Peace and Stillness. I wasn't raised to celebrate Christmas with the most gifts under the tree. In fact I was taught opposite. That Christmas isn't about gifts or presents at all. It was understood that Christmas was so much bigger than any gift you can buy, give, or receive. Christmas was a feeling in the heart for family, for love and belonging. I was taught that during Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. A gift or two under the tree was a bonus. But gifts or no gifts, I was told Christmas would happen.
Christmas was always magical. As a young girl, I can remember the awe and wonder, the feeling of celebrating such a special day. Most Christmas's as a young girl I received ONE new dress, and ONE new doll. This was absolute heaven for me. Never wanting, needing, or asking for anything more. Another great memory was a Christmas in Lima, Peru at my grandmothers house. There was no Christmas tree, no stockings hung to the chimney with care, no presents. BUT I DO REMEMBER... the most fabulous hot cocoa, playing with my cousins, marveling at a nativity display set up by my Tia Ana, a fabulous meal at a grand table set for 20 people, popping fireworks at midnight and taking a small, handmade gift to the nativity set just as the three wise men brought gifts in the form of Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh. One of the best Christmas's I can remember as a child and I received no presents in the form of gifts. I received love in the form of family and faith. The greatest gift of all.
So fast forward to today and I welcome all simplicities of Christmas that money cant buy.
Midnight mass, baking, writing Christmas cards, listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, spending time with loved ones, decorating, setting up my nativity set, and giving to others. I also love reminiscing on Christmas pasts. Christmas when I had my mother and the special memories that surround her. I can also embrace those that celebrate Christmas differently than I do. I also realize some Christmas's are difficult for some people as well. This is all a part of what makes us special and unique. I embrace you, you embrace me.
These days I still enjoy the wonder and magic of Christmas and I've loved every gift ever given to me. I still go shopping just like the next person and I still get caught up just like anyone else. But these days I'm slower to jump in and can quickly retreat when needed. Here's to another holiday season! May your days be Merry and Bright!
Merry Christmas 2021!