So it’s Christmas, and it has been quite a year. Ups, downs, milestones and more. A year of compromise, growing pains and a bevy of what I like to call “Come to Jesus Moments.” Moments where clarity seeps into a situation and hits you at your core causing the sudden realization that ‘all isn’t what it seems.’
Moments of personal growth, teaching moments, audible “aha” moments with second chances in reach. Do-overs, do-rights and hold on moments. My biggest lesson learned this year is that you’re never too old to learn, to grow, and to accept responsibility for mistakes made and blessings borne from them. We do in essence control our destiny, guided by God of course, but propelled by our own choices.
It would serve us well to remember that blessings aren’t only the good things that touch our lives. Moments that frustrate and push us to our limits may in fact be the ones that ultimately bring us the most joy and insight into what is really important. Times of indecision and strife force us to dig deep within our soul and look for answers and strength, and yes, they remind us to turn to God. God who is ever-present, but often forgotten until the Holiday.
Christmas spirit. It’s no surprise that this time of year is the most reflective for people. I believe it’s because no matter how hard some protest, the spirit seeps in and challenges us to hold up our blessings above our obstacles. Eyes are opened wider and ears are keener to hear what is truly important – we are prompted and reminded daily by the symbols we see all around us. The trees which illustrate growth and beauty, the lights which shine bright as does the potential we all have within us, Santa Claus who selflessly gives without receiving, and yes, the Nativity which reminds us all of the importance of family, the precious gift of life, and that trust placed in God for guidance is never wasted.
You do not have to be Catholic or even Christian to feel the spirit this time of year, you simply need to be present and to soak up the symbolization that is ever present world wide. Accept the joy and anticipation as a pathway to peace for all. One thing I’ve learned this year is that we have a tendency to overthink and over-complicate our lives. Simplicity is so much more peaceful and manageable – a hug, a kiss, a conversation, eye to eye contact, a family dinner, movie night, a walk hand in hand, a mid-day nap…
Life. Mankind. To be treasured and never taken for granted. And most definitely not to be shelved and replaced by manmade devices… You won’t receive the Christmas spirit through a cell phone or an iPad, but you will see it in a loved one’s eyes… Look up, engage and enjoy that which we sometimes forget is right in front of us, including those who are troubled this time of year; to lift their ‘spirits’ is a gift worth more than anything monetary…
Last year I wrote a piece on my Holiday Reflections which still holds true today. As I share that article again, I wish for all a blessed and magical Christmas that overflows into the New Year and beyond.