The holiday spirit is a magical gift.
I enjoyed having to describe the concept a few years ago when one granddaughter approached my husband and me one Christmas.
“Is Santa Claus real?” she asked. “Mom says he is, but my friends say he isn’t,” she said.
As children, holiday spirit comes naturally. Over the years, though, we tend to get swept away into the commercialization of the season. Pressure abounds: How to “do it big” to make sure the children are happy. Angst over a Christmas gathering with in-laws, who are more like outlaws. Sleepless nights wondering how to pay both the electric bill and the credit card bill for all the gifts, the Christmas outfits, and the decorations. Shopping malls become filled with frazzled parents trying unsuccessfully to reason with overly-tired munchkins. The list goes on ad nauseum.
Life’s daily pressures are real and the additional expectations for the holidays only pile on top. However, with a little reflection, we could re-calibrate our expectations for the holidays. Scale back on the “things” that we think are expected and spend more quality time with the ones we love.
As for me, I fall on the other end of the spectrum… my harried days of Christmas are long gone. After my husband and I moved out of town a few years ago, our holiday family gatherings became just a memory. With no more (local) young children in the family and no more corporate holiday shin-digs and a thousand miles separating us from the rest of the clan, my holiday spirit went into hibernation.
As a result of my own self-reflection, I have decided to put some effort into making this a special season for my husband, who remains a child at heart. Our tree is now trimmed and his collection of Santa figurines are sprinkled through the house. Our ‘Traveling Nativity’ Mary and Joseph are popping up from a different hiding place every day, bringing a chuckle from him with each discovery. I can see that he appreciates the effort I made to bring some holiday spirit into our home.
Whatever your perspective is on the holiday season, perhaps you could benefit from some quiet time reflecting on what matters most. Hopefully you will find the holidays more enjoyable for yourself and maybe you will rediscover the magical holiday spirit of your childhood.
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