It's that time of year! Christmas is here! And as it draws closer, I've been examining exactly what Christmas means to me personally and to my family.
Cozy Christmas Traditions
I tend to sentimentalize everything. The first snowfall is magical to me. The first steaming mug of cocoa that I make for my son, is heaven! The first shining Christmas ball that my daughter carefully hangs on the tree. And of course the first of many Christmas dinners. All of these seemingly average events are festive and magical to me. For the first time in the whole year, I can feel my body relax as I take it all in. Christmas!
As you have probably already gathered, I love Christmas. I love the Christmas colour palette that is scattered throughout my home. I love decorating my house with Christmas-themed plaid pillows and fluffy throws. I love hanging Christmas lights over the railing of my stairs and across my fireplace mantle. I love the Christmas carols that inevitably take over the airways the first week of November [at least in Canada]. And I love to see the excitement in my children's eyes as they admire our 9-foot real Christmas tree.
But most of all I love the cozy Christmas traditions that my family and I have created together, like our yearly screening of the Home Alone movies and our wintry walk through the festive lights show that is featured in our town's quaint downtown district every year. Christmas time is a wonderful time of year when our family is geared towards spending time together. We celebrate the people that we love, and are intentional about living in the moment and cherishing them.
If you are not a person of faith, then Christmas is a wonderful time to spend time with and cherish the loved ones in your life. Almost all of us have at least one family member or friend whom we depend on for the whole year, to be sane and whole.
For Me, Christmas Means So Much More.....
While my family's Christmas traditions are important and sweet, there is so much more to Christmas for me. If you are a person of faith [like me], Christmas is not just about a lovely Christmas dinner and a glowing Christmas tree. It is the yearly celebration of a miracle that happened 2000 years ago; a miracle that still impacts millions around the globe. That miracle is the virgin birth of God's Son to an obscure Jewish woman named Mary. Jesus' birth is truly what my family and I are celebrating as we cut open our turkey and enjoy our favourite gingerbread cookies. If you want to know why Jesus' birth is significant, read this article.
How You Can Love Christmas Again
But not everyone loves Christmas time. Christmas time can be a difficult time of reminiscing, and missing loved ones who are gone. It can be a time of financial despair and disappointment. It can be a time when we are prone to envy what others have. If any of the above rings true for you, I am deeply sorry and I hope that you are your family are able to find some peace during this season. In fact, maybe this season will be the first one that you can properly celebrate.
If you're ready, here are a few suggestions:
1) Think of any loved ones whom you are grieving and think of a way that you can honour them this Christmas. Perhaps there is a special recipe that they always cook or baked at this time of year. If you're musical, maybe you could play a song that they enjoyed in their memory.
2) If there are aspects of the Christmas season that you don't appreciate, create some new festive traditions to share with your loved ones.
3) Involve your departed loved one in your Christmas traditions. Set out a present for them [empty or full of a present, whichever you think is best], or write them a Christmas card or hang their favourite Christmas Ornament in a prominent place on your tree.
4) Celebrate that person and remember them, but also have courage enough to live in the moment. Focus on what you have to be thankful for, right now. And remember with joy those who have left.
From all of us here at Authentically Anne,
we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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