Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas." - Dale Evans Rogers

Someone recently informed me that I didn't have any Christmas spirit & I quickly agreed with them, happily saying that I hate the holiday & that I work in an industry where I'm dealing with nasty, rushed, hateful people all day long. That response earned me the weirdest look & I honestly couldn't figure out what said person's problem was.  I was just being honest. Bluntly so...but still. They opened that can of worms, right?

Well, that look stuck with me when I came home.  I got to thinking about it and the season and all that it entails.  Truth is...I didn't have any friggin holiday spirit. I couldn't remember the last time I had.  Actually, that's not totally true. I go to midnight mass every year & that's about it as far as I get to feeling a little holiday spirit. When I hear the choir sing "O Come All Ye Faithful." Anyway, so I just went about my, cleaning, folding laundry, texting, watching movies with the kids. Forgot all about that weird little look. Business as usual.  Right? Wrong. Dead wrong.

Fast forward to tonight. Both my brothers are here. It's been loud and rowdy and the kids are too loud & everyone is  trying to speak over each other. The boys are picking on my girls & I'm yelling at everyone to cut the crap. I'm cooking and serving and washing the 5th sinkful of dishes. We've watched movies & I've baked cookies for them & while they're eating them & arguing over who got the last 2 cookies & I'm standing near everyone taking it all in & I looked over to the Christmas tree & it all became very clear to me.  These are the moments that should make us feel holiday spirit.  It isn't how many gifts I buy. It isn't how many light decorations I put outside.  It isn't how many times I say "Happy Holidays." It's a moment of clarity within a time of total chaos when I looked around & realized how much I love my family & how lucky I am to have them.

It's realizing that in the very near future, a span of about two thousand miles will separate all of us & I will miss them. That we may not be spending the holidays together next year. It's understanding that no matter how many times my heart breaks, that I have people who love me and always will. That no matter how much I can't give them in tangible gifts, I can give them all of my love. With my heart. With the example I set for them. With the guidance I offer them. With the time I spend with them & the memories I create with them.

That's what the holidays are truly about and tonight in my kitchen, surrounded by the people who can often drive me the craziest, I was overwhelmed with beautiful, unexpected holiday spirit. And right there in that moment, I felt in my heart one of my favorite Christmas carols...

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

I don't know if it will last for the whole year. I don't know if it will be the greatest Christmas ever. I just know that I finally got it & for that I felt very blessed. Wishing you & yours all the best & most wonderful holiday ever.

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