I have a zillion Christmas blogs in edit mode. I'm hoping this one makes the cut.
I want to write about the excessive commercialism, the lost meaning, the overabundance of food, random acts of kindness, why you shouldn't keep talking to kids about Santa so much since it just sets every parent up for failure, what would Jesus think of it all, why parents put the Elf on the Shelf in pornographic positions, and the year my mother accidentally raised my oven temp to 500 degrees causing a chestnut to explode in my face.
But I won't.
I just want to say that we all work really hard this time of year to make the holiday extra special. We get less sleep, we work extra hours, and we get super stressed; always feeling we're not doing enough, not baking enough, not buying enough.
But, Enough is Enough.
Every so often during this season (when I am ready to have an anxiety attack about it all), I have to center myself and think back to last year. I vaguely remember what we bought the kids. I have no memory of what people gave me and have to think extra hard about what we ate. So, my point is, none of what you are doing and buying matters at all. It seems so "high priority", but in reality, next year, none of it will matter and this Christmas will be another distant memory.
For me, the only thing that really matters from year to year, is who is present and who is not. And when you experience your first Christmas without that special someone, whether it's your Mom, Dad, Grandparent, Sibling, Spouse or your beloved pets, Christmas Day can be a devastating day. The gifts and the food mean nothing when you're grieving a loss.
The presence of your loved ones are the presents. This year, the big presents for me are that my entire family is together, under one roof. There will be a LOT of noise, food, mess, laughter, and silliness, thanks to their presence. I can't think of a better gift.
Love and peace to all of you in the New Year,