I love Christmas but I think my relationship and/or experience with this holiday may be different than most people – or, at least, the people I know. The Christmas holidays I grew up with looked like any other traditional, white, American, Christian family. Church, lights, tree, music, presents, and ham dinner. From the outside – perfect. No deviations – ever – because “we have always done it this way!! Any new ideas or even a hint of a new idea were always construed as trying to “ruin” someone’s Christmas. With my mother it was “why do you always do me this way.”
Christmas Day behind closed doors was pure torture.
My father was an early riser 364 days a year; however, on Christmas Day he slept in. The only saving grace of the day was evidence of Santa’s visit. Santa’s presents were never wrapped so we got to stare at them while we waited. My little sister and I awakened very early, of course – it was Christmas, and while we could view our presents from Santa, we could not play with them and actually were expected to contain our excitement until we could display it properly in front of our parents. Another requirement was to be fully dressed, with our beds made and chores done before any unwrapping could begin.
My sister and I, fully dressed, continued to wait. Finally, our parents were up but now we waited for them to get dressed.
Next my mother cooked a large formal breakfast which we were required to eat slowly to prove we were grateful.
Finally, time for the opening of presents. One at a time. One at a time, father would read the name on a present and we would all silently and politely watch each recipient slowly opened their gift. No ripping or tearing of paper. After the wrapping paper was neatly folded, the next gift was handed out and so it went.
TODAY, I love Christmas more than ever but I there are no decorations, no trees, no gifts and no dinner. Most often I spend the day alone – by choice.
I cry tears of joy when I listen to Christmas music and I am touched deep within my soul as I witness the anticipatory joy of children , and adults shopping. Even though how I celebrate may be different, I celebrate the holiday with ever fiber of my being. I FEEL Christmas – deep within. But I never experience the anxiety, fear and general angst many appear to experience. I hear many people say the “Hate” this time of year. “I hate the lines, I hate the traffic” “I hate Christmas.” Why is that?
How many are listening to their parents and many past generations of how to do it and not listening to their own hearts. I have had friends experience complete meltdowns because an ornament broke. Is that Christmas? “Have to do this” “Have to do that” Year after year. Spending money you do not have – sometimes for people you don’t like. All the “have to” presents. How many people doing the “right” things actually like Christmas. I listen to people share how much they “hate” this time of year. I witness a great deal of sadness. Is that Christmas?
I quit buying presents because of the “obligatory” and “it is the right thing to do” presents. And then people running out and quickly buying a present for me simply because I gave them one. And what about all the parties when you can’t afford to buy presents for all you are invited to?
Instead, I celebrate giving all year – randomly. to whomever. Christmas for me is the Spirit of Love and Giving and so I do it all year. At this time of year, I feel Christmas – I feel joy. I invite you to listen to your heart, and your own bank account. If there is no money, don’t buy a gift. Make one, or simply make a card. Make your Christmas memorable for you and your family by living in truth – your truth. You do not “have to” go to every party, but you can. Remember it is your choice. Remember is IS Christmas – it is YOUR Christmas. Celebrate you, and your family. Christmas is not about spending money you don’t have and going to parties you don’t want to go to. Make it YOUR Christmas.
Let me hear about your Christmas experiences and if you ever think about change.
I LOVE CHRISTMAS