I've always loved Christmas. As a child, I so enjoyed getting the things I had asked for so painstakingly over the year. The anticipation ran on for what seemed like months, only to end in a climactic heap of wrapping paper and bows reused from the year before. For me, Christmas was the one time a year I was allowed to be selfish and not share anything with my sister. It was also the only time of the year that I truly believed in magic and hoped that Santa would hear my prayers for that Cabbage Patch Doll.
As I grew older, I learned to expect less. At first, I was sad. I thought that love was measured in the was others gave you as gifts. One year, when all my mother got me for Christmas was a box of Queen Anne's Chocolate Covered Cherries, I was heartbroken. Not because she didn't spend a lot of money on me, but because she didn't spend a lot of thought on me.
When I became a grown up and started gifting for others, I tried my hardest to make every gift count. I thought about the kind of person they were and what thing they might overlook for themselves. I loved giving gifts.
I became somewhat of a non-celebrator a few years ago. I was just so disillusioned with everything, even Christmas. It had (and has) become so commercial and so much about getting the biggest, best, *insert random item here* that you probably really don't need in the first place, that I cringed at the thought of Christmas shopping. I really dislike Black Friday. And I wished that more people focused on what really matters in life, rather than how big their TVs are. So, I would buy or make a few things for my nearest and dearest, and didn't feel obliged to give to every person I knew as I had in the past. I tried getting into the "spirit" with a Peppermint Mocha or two, but nothing seemed to work. Not really.
This year, at the beginning of December, my family and I moved into a new house. We are expecting a baby in the spring and we all agreed that the baby couldn't sleep on the dog bed, so we needed some extra space. My husband and I agreed also agreed, no gifts for each other this year. We don't really need anything anyway and I have boxes and boxes of random stuff left to unpack out in the garage. So really, it's like Christmas every day around here... We got a mountain of Lego for the boy, some cooking items for the girl and nothing for anyone else. It felt good to be so simple. Different, but good.
I've come to the realization, perhaps over the past few years even, that Christmas isn't about the gifts you give or get. Even if they are handmade, which are my very favorite to give and to receive. What I've learned is that a kind word is worth a thousand dollars. Being with family is immeasurable. And time spent together is priceless.
Happy, Lovely Christmas, everyone!