A friend has asked me…
What does Christmas mean to you? Do you have any traditions that you do each year? What brings you joy?
Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birthday, even though it is not His true birth date.
I wish we could celebrate it like Thanksgiving…no gifts, just family, friends being together sharing a meal and being grateful for the birth of God’s son, Jesus Christ.
I was recently in Michigan visiting family and one of my Godsons who is an adult, unmarried, has his own successful business. I was there over Thanksgiving week and so we talked about the holidays. My Godson said he did not like holidays because they had become so commercialized, and he just preferred being alone on holidays. I agree with him about the sadness of the commercialization of holidays, and have on occasion been happier just spending a holiday by myself. Yet, some holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. I feel it is important to remember and celebrate the actual purpose/reason for that holiday.
As for gifts, I believe we should not be bombarded by the retail industry and others with the idea that we have to get gifts for each other. Every day of the year should be an opportunity for us to give a gift, a gift of ourselves or a prayer. If we can afford to buy a gift for someone we care about, that we do so just because, not because society says we need to because it is a special holiday.
I enjoy giving gifts, when I am able…any time of year and to see the joy in those excited about their gift.
I don’t have any traditions for Christmas other than the last several years spending the day with the Wise families, and then later in the day sharing dessert with the Rose family. Being alone I guess I haven’t created a special tradition.
When I was a child my parents had a tradition to put up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving weekend so we could enjoy it through the season. I have done that on occasion during the years since, when I put up a tree. Many years I don’t have a tree, and many times don’t decorate at all because it is just me and Bear, and no one else to enjoy or appreciate them. I feel like I have too many other things to do than take the time to put up decorations and then the time to pack them away. This year there is another reason I am not doing decorations. Since I returned to my house in Georgia after spending 5 months in California, I had someone come in and patch up the cracks and holes in the walls but don’t have the money to paint, so I have all these white patches everywhere. Since I sold a lot of my furniture before I moved to California I don’t have the furniture to put out a lot of things which are still in boxes i.e. books, collectibles etc. and not putting pictures on the walls until I can get them painted. Maybe next year….
There was another tradition on Christmas…when I lived in Ireland. I was married then and we were friends with two families in our neighborhood. Every Christmas morning, after church, and after each family went to their own homes and opened gifts, we all got together at one house (taking turns each year). The children would tell us about their gifts, they would get a treat, and all us adults would have a drop of cheer…maybe Irish Whiskey or brandy or Irish Cream…we would toast each other, and visit awhile.
What brings me joy AND GRATITUDE? Walking in the front door and being greeted by my sweet Bear, having him in my life, spending time with special people in my life, God surprises (which sometimes come through others), writing and being creative, memories of special times and events in my life, amazing adventures on this journey we call life.
My soul joy is knowing that God loves us so unconditionally, that He sent His only son, Jesus Christ to live with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you dear God.