First of all: Happy Yule, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Christmas to all who celebrate any or all of it.
A short rant:
Something drives me a little crazy this time of year. I try to be a tolerant person, and let anyone do whatever they feel is right for them, after all I prefer for others to do the same for me. But the last few years there has been a thing people keep going on about called the "War on Christmas".
It seems that Christians are up in arms about people switching their greeting to Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas and they have interpreted this as an act of war. It baffles me that anyone could say that including more people in your good wishes is equal to the violent act of war. Tolerance is a wonderful and peaceful thing in my book. Besides this illogical conclusion, everywhere I went people said Merry Christmas to me, so if it is a war, the other side is losing.
End of rant.
Enough of that. I really enjoyed this holiday season and I'd like to share why I think that is. For the first time this year, I erased all expectations before any of the holiday celebrations. It could have been a tough year since I lost two grandparents this year and that drastically changed how we celebrated the day, not to mention unpleasant medical procedures happening between festivities. I still treasure the traditions that I grew up with and will always have those wonderful memories, but I opted to "go with the flow" for how things would go this year. I didn't expect certain reactions to gifts, I didn't plan in my head how things had to be in order to be perfect. Instead, I made it my mission to try and make everyone who was around me as joyful as possible, and it worked pretty well.
Fun Christmas Story:
I was reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss to my niece and nephews (13, 8, 7, and 5), they gathered around and listened really well. It was a wonderful feeling to have them piled around me clambering to get a look at the pictures in the book. I was reaching the end of the story and got to the part where the Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes that day. I read the line:
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store."
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"As soon as I finished, my 5 year old nephew looked at me with his hand thoughtfully placed on his chin and said, "I can see that." I smile just thinking about it, what a wonderful moment to experience, a child thinking about how much more Christmas means to him than presents. Priceless! For our family Christmas means love, giving, and sharing memories.
Happy Holidays everyone, however you celebrate, I wish you joy and peace!