This Christmas 7


At this point in the holiday season – the eve of Christmas Eve, everything comes into sharp focus. It – whatever it was – got done or it didn’t. You can plan ahead for next year and make promises that you will :


  • put money aside into a Christmas 2011 fund,

  • buy gifts all year round,

  • try to convince those from whom you receive gifts to donate to a charity of your choosing rather than gift you, or abandon gifts altogether and just enjoy the fellowship of family and friends with a volunteer project you do together.

All of these plans are well and good except for one thing – this Christmas is the only one you have. It will be what you make it. It will feel how you feel it.



If you are blessed enough to have young children whose lives you control, savor the fact that they are with you and don’t have other plans. There will come a time when your children’s lives may be lived in different cities and so you have to choose between one or the other or, in the unfortunate case of my two children, they are estranged and so having them be together is not currently an option. (Big sigh.)

If you are blessed enough to be able to be with your entire extended family  be glad.

If somehow you have fallen short in the things you want to do, remember the fact that only the living can fall short and that you can aim to improve next time. There is no such thing as perfection except for a perfectly good celebration and observation of the day..

In a few days, all the decorations and festivities will be over until next year. The ornaments will get packed away, the holiday music will cease, the lights will be dimmed and the greetings from those people who only seem to offer greetings during the holiday season will stop.

But right now, it is all still in season. And I am enjoying it. I enjoyed the throngs of people as I completed  my last minute shopping. I enjoyed watching another of the Christmas movies we watch each year. I look forward to whatever clashes my daughter and I will have as we cook the holiday meal. I pray for my husband’s safe arrival from Boston tomorrow.

I am blessed to be in the presence of my granddaughter and “play” grandson who are 3 and 5 respectively and so full of joy and acceptance and anticipation for Santa’s gifts. The children are the center of this holiday and these two will love whatever they get from Santa and his extended family of helpers.

I am going to enjoy this Christmas – pulled off once again for another year. I hope you enjoy your Christmas, too. It is the only one we have.







About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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7 thoughts on “This Christmas

  • Wendy

    Wise thoughts as always.I agree it’s all
    about savoring the moments we have and
    relaxing into the spirit, chaos, and
    light of the season..usually so bright in
    children’s eyes..

  • Carolyn

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on what can be either the most wonderful time of the year or the most miserable. My mother passed away two days after Christmas many years ago—20 years to be exact…my God how time flies and becomes as unaccounted for as the wind—and since that time this season for me has been blanketed in a malaise that I found to be inescapable—until this year. I have been working with a great life coach who has been instrumental in helping me to move out of a rut in which I have been traveling unknowingly. This is the first Christmas in a long time where I have felt alive and connected to those around me—the feeling is truly remarkable. I immediately called a moratorium on the empty Christmas seasons that have been my experience over these last many years. I chose to spend the holiday with loving people who have been there for me throughout my own absence. And yes, I do plan to be with my extended family from now on during this glorious season. As I contemplate what my home will look like once I take down all the decorations, I know that I will find a way to fill the empty spaces with things and photos of the people that bring me joy throughout the year. I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Candelaria

    I am so happy you have found the strength – through coaching, time and readiness – to enjoy this season.  Thanks so much for sharing your experience.  I am a firm believer that we make our days what they are to a large extent and that remembering sorrow does not mean we have to sit in it.  Kudos to you.  I’m leaving my Christmas cards and decorations up until the end of January like I always do.  I like to feel surrounded by the love and warmth they represent.  Happy new Year.