Are you having Christmas or Shopmas? Are celebrating the holidays or are you in a holi-daze? I believe it’s up to you because Christmas is what you make it. I don’t let the holidays stress me out anymore. I love the hustle and bustle. Somehow, everything gets done whether I pace myself or wait until the last minute. And those things that didn’t get done, turn out not to be that important.
I didn’t always know or practice this but now, I give gifts that I can afford that are tokens of my esteem and my values. I don’t aim to dazzle; I do try to be thoughtful. I don’t run up debt. I try to give experiences. I purchase from local vendors for most of the gifts I give.
I savor the holiday markets, the holiday lights of neighbors and throughout the city, the glitz that mimics Las Vegas*, the carolers at Downtown Crossing, the holiday music playing on speakers, holiday concerts, a Christmas tree decorating party at church…
I enjoy the ritual of unpacking my Christmas angels and Santa figurines and placing them around the house. I enjoy finding my wreaths of red bells to adorn my doors. Because we go to celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa with my daughter and grandchildren, I don’t set up a tree at home but I do participate in decorating their tree. I love finding a variety of cards, hand-addressing them, and sending them out as a kiss to people I care about.
If I could, I would turn back time to other Christmas holidays when my Mom or sister came to Boston and the kids were so excited. I can hear the young Cyrus screaming, “Oh Wow, Oh Wow, OH WOW” when he saw the Transformers he’s asked Santa for and received. I remember Amber getting a Black Cabbage Patch doll when they were all the rage at the very last minute when we were heading to the airport (Cy got one, too). She smiled so broadly I thought her cheeks my crack. (I thinks she still has that doll) I wrap my arms and heart around these memories.
If I could, I would go even further back in time to the Christmas when my Mom and Daddy got us bikes and I got a whole set of Nancy Drew books. I loved reading. It was the best Christmas ever as a child. Thank you Mom and Dad (RIP).
My sister and I give checks to a charity in our hometown St. Louis as our gift to each other (although each year she sneaks something to me even though she’s not s’posed to).
Some years, the people you gift let you know what they want or need, making gifting easier. Other years, you have to guess. It’s all good. I appreciate whatever I get even when it isn’t ‘me.” I appreciate that someone thought enough of me to get me something. Each year, I decide which of the many organizations and causes that I believe in, I can make a contribution to. I give what I can.
Every culture has special days when they break with the norm and celebrate the joy of being in the world, honor their beliefs, and do special things that culminate the previous year and herald the coming year. Celebrate. Celebrate!
The only gift I want/hope/pray for in 2020 is that we are all together again in sound bodies and right minds this time next year with love and appreciation for what we have, generosity toward others , and active sharing with those in need. Time = love for people. If you can’t be with the ones you love…perhaps they passed on to what comes after this amazing life…honor them by loving the ones you’re with, including yourself.
I appreciate you for reading my post.
(*Although I worry about the environmental impact of the lights.)
*even while worrying about the cost.