“It’s the most wonderful time of the year...” We are all hopped up on candy canes, holiday parties, and hot chocolate and good cheer. Sometimes I wish this feeling would last forever, but then again, if it did it wouldn’t be very special anymore. My Christmas tree is up and there is nothing better than being snuggled up under my grandmother’s afghan watching a roaring fire in my fireplace and the twinkling lights of my tree. It’s heaven in my book.
As each Christmas has passed and the further I have gone into adulthood, my ideas of a “perfect Christmas” have changed. As a young adult (before children) it was to be surrounded by family and if we are really going to be honest here, to get great gifts from my parents, preferably gift cards and/or money (selfish little twit, I know). As the babies came, it became more about the joy on their little faces as they opened all of their gifts. However, we quickly came to realize that they were getting overloaded with presents, to the point of it being disgusting. We had to lay down the law on gift giving, especially with the grandmothers.
Now, a perfect Christmas season is dotted with visits to friends, making homemade gifts to give (something I have truly come to love), our annual trip to see the Richmond Ballet perform the Nutcracker and going to church on Christmas Eve. I am sure that Santa will visit and bring a few little goodies, but long gone are the days where I obsess over what I am buying so-and-so for Christmas. I really used to think that my parents or grandparents or whomever, would not have a good Christmas if they didn’t have multiple gifts to open. I know, I was a sad sack back then.
It’s about the Spirit of Christmas for me now. The anticipation, the joy, happiness, peace and goodwill towards your fellow man; we are celebrating so much this time of year. We are rejoicing that a Savior was born unto us, celebrating this beautiful Earth and the winter season approaching, enjoying the company of friends and loved ones and showing how much we cherish them with gifts of love.
As we all get into the swing of the Holidays, let us remember to not get caught up in the hustle and bustle (unless you want to), but to enjoy the slower pace of the season, the long winter nights in front of the fire enjoying your tree, the afternoons baking with your children, the weekend attending a Christmas service at church or giving back to your community. It’s all here, the Spirit of Christmas, ready for us to celebrate.