I realized early on this Christmas season that Christmas was going to be different for me, and for my family, I had this feeling start in early October.
For me Christmas has and always will be about the presents, giving them, getting them, watching others open their presents, seriously that is what Christmas was all about for me. ok it still is, but it's different this year.
I don't consider my self materialistic if that is what you are thinking, I consider Christmas time a time that can totally be all about the stuff you get, but really, can you really remember what you got last Christmas from every one? I didn't think so. So for me Christmas isn't about getting presents it about the peace you feel when your present is received. Let me explain:
I believe that the gift should be given in the right spirit, are you excited, loving, genuine in the gift that you are giving? This right here has I think more impact on our willingness to offer the receiver of our gift than the gift it's self. I will often times ask Why am I giving this gift to ____ ____(insert family member name here.) If it's not out of love for the family member I put the gift back and try again.
I really thought the more I planned the more peaceful the Christmas season would be, That went out the window well before Thanks Giving. So it's not in the details so to speak. I think it's in our realistic goals we set. I always dream of amazing cookie exchanges with friends and family, and a wonderful family party, and crafting into the morning, and so on... But for me this season none of those are the case. I have found the Christmas Spirit is most abundant in my home when as a family we did simple things, like frost cookies together and talk about how much fun Christmas is, teaching my children about Christ's birth, singing Rudolf the red nose reindeer for what seemed like the 50th time that day. The Christmas spirit is in the unplanned, every day moments of our lives when we chose to feel peace.
I think being in the right mind has a lot to do with it. When we are rushed around we cannot feel peace, so how can we expect to feel the Christmas spirit if we can't feel peace. It's wonderful to keep family traditions, I love traditions, I thrive on traditions. I am finding that the only one tradition that really matters is being with your loved ones, your family, and celebrating the love between each other. That tradition can be spread throughout the year, or a small card simply saying that you love them. So Traditions as fun as they are can hinder the Christmas Spirit, I have had to take a step back and say is this needful to my family's Christmas spirit, if not we slow down, rest and regroup.
Singing loud for all to hear, is a great tactic that gets you into the Christmas spirit, I think it has something to do with that you are singing for other's to enjoy, YOU ARE SERVING, and blighting some else's day. anytime that I need to feel the spirit of Christmas I will sing, or listen to It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. and that always melts my heart.
If none of these things are working, pray to understand Christ's birth. it works, it has worked for me time and time again. I usually find a new outlook on what Christmas means to me, and my family.
I Wish all my family and friends peace and love during this wonderful Christmas time.