Recent events have me thinking about the reason things are the way they currently are. And I am particularly obsessed at the moment with why Christmas is the way it is now. Now that Thanksgiving has passes I am ready to focus on the season of Christmas...what some call the season of giving. I prefer to think of it as the season of love.
Through most children's eyes Christmas is all about the gifts: how many, how big, and how much they cost... through business owner's eyes it's all about the consumers: how many customers, how much they buy, and how much they'll spend... and through some parent's eyes again it's about the same essential things: how many gifts for each child, how big can I make christmas this year, and how much is this going to put me back?
Coming from a family that was by no means rich...I never went without gifts. And somehow my parents always went over the top. Christmas Eve we always got to open one gift, and it was usually new pj's to wear for Christmas eve and morning. We always got some great gifts, but they took the opportunity to also give us the things we needed: shoes, socks, undies, and clothing...and then as we've gotten older it was tires for a new car, vacuum for the dorm, microwave for the dorm... but I always knew there was more to Christmas.
Looking back, I know the reason it always was over the top, is because I knew my parents did what they did out of love. Not to compensate for not being there for me as parents should, and not to compensate for being lousy absentee parents, but because they knew the best memories were those made with love as the primary influence. It wasn't that I got "THE" gift of the year, of course most years were indeed filled with very awesome gifts and always more than I asked for...but then again that isn't hard when all I asked for my seventh year was a surprise from Santa. I never was one to ask for much.
This year being the first year I will spend apart from my family, I have learned that it isn't the presents I will miss...I could have done away with those years ago, and I know Mom and Dad would have made it still special and fun...what I will miss most is the time with my family.
Making a new tradition, with a new family is exciting, and fun. I am now blessed with someone who loves me- a partner to spend these times with together and a child to show the real meaning of Christmas. The presents will only continue to put pressure on those who let it, and I refuse to let this holiday become tainted by consumerism. I know I am loved and that there are many that are loved in my life...buying them things doesn't prove that love. The only thing that can is to spend as much time with them throughout the year as possible...and to show them and tell them just how much they are loved- each and every day.
I absolutely love this time of year- Memories of bonfires as a teenager out in pastures... moving into my first apartment and sleeping on an air mattress for a month and having wet floors for almost the whole time because the shampooer left the floors "slightly damp"... cold nights watching movies at "snake man's" house slowly turning into late night one-block walks home from Jon's riding on cloud nine...taking a New Year's overnight trip to New Mexico with Jon just because we could... moving from my wonderful little apartment on North to our house of Love on Harvey all in one extremely late and cold new years night...cocoa and marshmallows with my Shi on our porch in our slippers...and Christmas with my family.
This will be the first year I don't spend Christmas with my parents. The second year I spend with my Love, and our wonderful Shi. And the third year since I fell in love with Jon. This year it will be hard to be so far from my parents, but I feel fortunate that they are close enough to spend so much time together. Making plans for the season that don't involve waking up to see my Mom and Dad on that morning seem strange-sad even, but knowing that this man who was once a stranger sitting across the room in Tantra will spend every Christmas with me feels amazing.
So I continue my plans...baking with the boys, making gifts for those we love, decorating for Christmas (now that Thanksgiving has had it's time in the limelight)... I continue making plans, but I now think even more fondly on all the time and love I shared with my family. The things that really mattered. I can't even begin to remember half of the presents I have received from them over the years...I know that every year (but one) I was given pajamas, every year we got clothes (and usually the necessary socks and underwear), every year Mom's cooking would be amazing, and every year I can remember the love.
Take time this year to do what matters the most. Your child will survive (and yes, still love you) if you don't get them the coolest, newest and most expensive toy/gadget out there. Your friends and family also don't need you spending a fortune on them to "show" them how much you care...what everyone needs is more time and more love. Get back to the reason of it all, and enjoy the season of sharing Love.
Much Love to all...near and far
Just a girl living and commenting on this wonderfully quixotic world we live in! I love creating things. Whether it is in the kitchen, for the home, or for my friends and family...it doesn't matter. Come explore, and if you like what you see let me know!