I love Christmas and always have. I have successfully turned my oldest into a Christmas enthusiast as well, which only makes it even more fun for me. I was always raised with the experience of Christmas magic, even when I was so poor that my family received the food drive donations from my school. However, all these years I could not really pinpoint exactly what was so magical about Christmas.
Presents are fun, but as you get older, of course, these are few and far between and become a lot of work to acquire and wrap. Parties and get togethers can be joyful, but also a lot of work, especially if you are trying to haul your kids to them and hope the fact that they’re sugared up and haven’t been to bed on time in who-knows-how-long doesn’t make them the living argument for birth control. All those things can be fun and provide momentary joy.
I realized though, that the real gift of Christmas (or the holiday season, however you celebrate), is the forced stillness that comes with it. Eventually all the presents are purchased and wrapped. Most of civilization is closed. The parties are done and the food eaten, and you are left with the people around you and nothing to do. This is the magic of Christmas–a moment to just be, with the person/people that mean something to you, with no need to achieve or accomplish or work. This stillness gives the opportunity to reconnect to our hearts, our gratitude and our families and memories, and experience the awe and wonder and warmth that is our lives in the here and now. The Silent Night is a waking meditation.
I hope you all find peace in the stillness of the season and enter the next year rejuvenated.