Christmas has never been my favourite time of year and that is true for as far back as I can remember. It’s not that I don’t like spending time with family or friends. It’s not that I don’t like giving gifts. At one point I would have said that I didn’t like receiving gifts but I’ve worked hard to get over that one, so not even that is true anymore. It’s not that I don’t recognize the birth of Christ as an important day of celebration for such a significant event. It’s not even a disbelief in Santa Claus because the spirit of Santa is what life is all about. It’s not any of that.
It’s ironic that what is to be the most joyous day of the year creates so much sadness and loneliness for so many. Years ago, I was very involved with heart math and I remember a study being done where the energy of the earth was being measured and we could track the most heart opened and heart closed days, often triggered by less than joyous emotions and Christmas Day across the world continues to be the darkest day. Isn’t it time that we look at why that is and what we might be able to do differently?
For years, I thought it was a difficult time of year because of the number of losses that occurred around that time of year. I was only 10 when my Grandfather died suddenly on New Years Day and it didn’t seem to slow down with so many important people in my life leaving around the Christmas Season. For a while I thought it was the long dark days but that wasn’t it either.
It’s the expectation piece! The obligation! A holiday where we are expected to be together. A holiday that has become so commercialized with the expectations of gift giving. It doesn’t really make sense to me. Aren’t the best gifts, the ones given from the heart, with no agenda, just because we love someone or thought of them in a particular moment? The odd time that happens at Christmas but for the most part, that has not been my experience. There is so much heart ache with the expectation to be together on one particular day. I don’t really understand it! What about all of the other days of the year? What about the random times we make to spend with some one just because we want to share time with them?
Isn’t the time around Christmas a time for reflection, a time to be grateful, a time to be quiet, a time for prayer, a time to sing, to rejoice, to remember what is important? When we are all so busy doing, getting the last-minute details in order, preparing the meals, rushing from one family to another, how is it that we have any time for our self, for the connection to spirit, the coming back home so we can be fully present with one another?
The biggest gift I can give my children and the people I love is to not add pressure or one more expectation to this time of year. As a result, since my boys were little, Christmas has always looked different each year. It’s a time to create how and when and where we spend time together. It’s a time of being able to acknowledge one another, through gifts and through shared time. It used to happen in Florida, sometimes building sandmen or fish on the beach. Sometimes it involved a special church service while other times, it’s involved games. It always involves a stocking exchange but even that one is up for grabs this year as it feels like pressure and expectation to some so it may be time to rework that one too. The last few years, our Christmas has been celebrated in the new year because I’ve decided to be away with my new husband. It is finding what works for all of us that is the most important and remembering that the nature of Christmas is not about the stuff but what we do and how we be with the people and our self, not just on Christmas day but all year long. Merry Christmas Everyone! May it be exactly how your heart desires!