Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What Does Christmas REALLY Mean?

Christmas is quickly approaching and with everyone seeming to be in a materialistic mood, I thought I'd try to shed some light onto why Christmas really means so much to me. 

Now I'm not saying that absolutely everyone has turned into the Grinch this year, but it's an observation that I've started noticing as my padawan and I have ventured around town. People seem to be so dead set on trying to get the best gifts, with the prettiest paper, and the shiniest bows. No smiles being shown, stories being shared, or joyous moments being created. What's happening???

Perhaps it's desensitization with all that's happening around the world and the media constantly portraying what the newest "hot item" of the year is, but regardless of the cause we need to take a step back and really reevaluate what Christmas - or any holiday - is all about. 

I could go into detail about how Christmas is Jesus' birthday and the sacrifices he gave to us, which can be said for other holiday's and their meanings - but what I'm specifically talking about is how Christmas affects me personally. 

Growing up I was lucky. I didn't have to worry about where my food was coming from, if I'd have a bed to sleep in, or whether or not I'd have clean clothes for school. Heck, I was able to GO to school. That alone is a privilege some don't have, so I understand how incredibly lucky I've been and am. 

Throughout my adulthood, I've struggled to find myself and learn who I really am, but one thing always remained the same during any trial in my life...Christmas. It was still this time of joy when we could step back and realize how blessed we truly are. How all the stress and worry in life is minuet compared to the good we have. How nothing is permanent and the only sure thing in life is death. Don't worry, we're not getting morbid over here. 

I simply mean that when I decorate a Christmas tree - no matter how big or small it may be that year - I look at each light and reflect on how much good has come into my world. 

Christmas is about family, blood or not, and loving what we have. It's about giving to those who may have little or nothing, in an effort to spread joy to a heart during the holiday season. It's about coming to terms with the fact that while life isn't perfect, it's an amazing story in itself. 

Some of us can only afford a small Christmas card under a plant we've plucked from the local part, in place of a Christmas tree. Some of us can afford an extravagant 7 ft tree with presents surrounding it to the top. All of us should be proud. 

We all have the opportunity to positively influence someone's life, no matter how big or small the gesture is. A simple "you're doing an amazing job" can bring warmth to a cold heart. A heartfelt hug can soften a hard soul. A smile can uplift a terrible day. 

This world is full of hatred and , but that doesn't mean that you yourself have to contribute to the negativity that surrounds us all. Be the light that shines and the way that you can easily spread that light, is through family. 

I've always known Christmas as to be this highly celebrated holiday, filled with happiness, hot cocoa, good food, and warm cuddles. Sure the presents were nice - and still are - but as I got older, I realized they didn't matter. If I could just sit with my family, drinking a hot beverage, cuddled in our pajamas, watching a movie, and reminiscing on good times, I would feel like the luckiest person in the world to have that opportunity. 

Now that I myself am a mom, I do my best to uphold traditions and maintain a festive vibe as long as possible for my padawan, but I do so with the constant reminder that it doesn't matter what is under the tree. What matters is who's around it. 

As I sit here on my couch, wrapped in a blanket, surrounded by Christmas lights and a faux fire on the TV with a cup of hot cocoa close by, I want to thank those family members that I love, even though they can't be around the tree. 

That includes all of you. 

I'm blessed because of my family and friends that have passed.
I'm blessed because of those who are still in my life.
I'm blessed because people read this blog.
I'm blessed because I receive smiles.
I'm blessed with support. 
I'm blessed with love.
I'm blessed with my family. 

Blood or not, I cherish each and every one of you, along with my physical family. Things may not be peachy-keen all year long and we may not constantly see eye to eye, but that doesn't mean anything. 

After all, Christmas is about giving. So I would like to give my love, because it's the purest thing I can offer that will never die. 

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