Ah, Christmas…that wonderful time of the year, full of giving of oneself to others. Yes, that wonderful time of the year, full of love, laughter, family and friends. That time of the year, full of travel, stress and exhaustion. That wonderful time of the year where families get together, emotions run high and memories are made, good or otherwise. Yes, that wonderful time of the year that we look so forward to, and at the same time, remind ourselves that it’ll all be over soon, because it’s only temporary.
Although Christmas has always brought with it many challenges, it, still, remains my favorite time of the year. I spend months, engaging in thought about each person I give of myself to. Wondering what to give so that they know I care about them, so they know that I truly think about them. What to give so that they know they have a place in my heart, that they really mean something special to me. I want each one of them to know that I am paying attention and that I am really listening.
For me, Christmas isn’t about shopping. Oh, I may go purchase something that I know that person would adore, but it will always be in combination with a part of me. There will always be something for them, from my heart, made with my two hands. As an artist, the possibilities are endless. I adore every aspect of artistic expression. I will choose the avenue, based on every individual I am giving of myself to. Wrapping gifts is something I adore. In many cases, how a gift is wrapped, is as much a part of the gift as what it contains. By the end of the season, I truly am exhausted, both mentally and physically.
Christmas, that wonderful time of the year. That time of the year when I carry my love for those I’ve lost in my heart and celebrate, just a little, for all of them that no longer can, but surely would if they were still here. Yes, they, too, all know how much they are loved, remembered and missed, during this wonderful time of the year. Even though they may not be here physically, they certainly are spiritually. Yes, the “spirit of Christmas” has many forms, many meanings, for me.
All these things are what fill my heart, my life and my “to do” list with so very much, during this wonderful time of the year. Somehow, it all gets done. What’s important, seems to work out and what’s not so, is accepted. This year, I found this little pine tree, struggling for life. I took it home, transplanted it into a pot and vowed to save it. On Christmas Eve, I still hadn’t time to pull down the decorations, being so busy with work and making gifts, I didn’t think I’d even have a tree this year. Then, I had myself a real-life Charlie Brown moment. I knew that tree was too fragile for lights and ornaments, so I put a bow around the trunk, put an ornament, I’d just purchased, on it, placed lights atop the soil and wrapped holiday fabric around the pot. As I placed each gift I completed under that tree, I realized just how perfect it was. It was beautiful.
There’s no garland draped upon my mantel, no holiday fare hanging throughout my home, no stockings hung on the fireplace this year. Just this little tree. Surrounded by love, the giving of myself to those I am about to share with, very soon. This became a full-circle moment. There it was, my decorating was done. This was all that was needed. I realized I had done all I had to, as far as decorating was concerned. Yes, how perfectly beautiful it was.
I had been up for twenty hours. I put nine-plus hours in at work on my feet, attended a holiday dinner party, came home and still had to put each gift together. Finishing touches needed to each one, wrapping and prepping for the holiday brunch ahead also. I was exhausted, but I had to take the time to relish in the moment. No matter how tired I was, I had to take a moment to bask in the glory of getting it all done. Again. Even though I can barely keep my eyes open, I had to take the time to look at it. So much love sitting there, so much thought, so much work. I was proud of myself and all that I was about to give, of myself, to others.
Taking just a moment to think, each one of them should realize how much they were thought of as they open these gifts. How everything inside the gift, relates to their lives in some way. How everything inside the gift, goes so well, together. This is how I Christmas. This is how I’ve always done Christmas. It’s never about the best bargain I can find to satisfy another gift on my list, but more so, the best way I can give to make that someone know I genuinely care about them. To let that special someone, I’m giving to, know they are an important piece of my life.
The number of gifts isn’t what’s important, under the tree. It’s the amount of thought, effort and love contained within each one, that is most abundant. Watching, as each one is opened and all parts of it are appreciated, is what I adore so very much. I love Christmas. I always have and always will, regardless. Even if there be just one gift, you can bet that it contains a great many parts, that all come together, becoming one very large present of special meaning. From within my heart, special. Created with my hands, special. A gift that says I think of you, deeply. A gift that says I care about you, truly. A gift that says you are an important part of my life, genuinely.
I wish the spirit of this season lasted all year long, for everyone. I know that, in many ways, it does for me. It takes a year of real life, to put together a gift of such reflection, each time. You need to watch, you need to listen, you need to be aware, of what’s going on, for each of them. I want the gifts I give, to have real meaning. I want them to reflect my feelings, without words. I want them to mean something special for them, in addition to, just how very much they mean to me.
This year, Santa still chose not to bring Batman down my chimney, and that’s okay. Someday, I know my dreams will come true. I am, and will remain, forever hopeful. I know that, someday, it will happen. But in the meantime, and far beyond, I will continue to give of myself to others, the very same way I always have. Honestly, truly and deeply, from my heart to theirs. After all, this is the only way I know how to Christmas. This is what the season means to me. For me, this is what makes it all so wonderful. To me, there is absolutely nothing temporary about it.
Although I cannot possibly share with every person I care about, at Christmas, believe me, when I say you are special to me, to my life. We may share but a few moments, a few words or a hug, but I do try to make that reflect of myself to you, in some way, no matter how small it may seem at the time. It really isn’t, not to me.
Wishing you all the Merriest and Happiest, the Season can bring un to you, and all throughout the year. ~x0x~