What is it about the season of joy that seems to leave people feeling less than joyful? Through hectic schedules, the need for more money, the pressure to buy gifts, do the accepted thing, conform to plans made by other people, all these things seem to suck the joy out of the season and cause anger, resentment and the desire to run to Florida and escape it all.
I used to get sucked into the joylessness of it all, but as I’ve gotten older, become more at peace with myself, I have made a conscious decision not to let it all get to me, as it has in the past. I used to worry about wearing the best thing, looking just so, and the stress of it would even send me into tears. But with this new sense of self, I’ve come to the realization that I’m the only one who cares what I am wearing. Other people really only want to see my smile.
In the past, I’ve spent the season stressing over what to buy and what to ask for, what I will receive and will it fulfill my desires. But I’ve come to the realization that what I give is love, what I receive is love, and it won’t be the last material thing the recipient ever gets and just being present is more important than putting all that stress into the air.
Christmas has become so commercialized. With all the stress and resentment, it has lost its real meaning. Whether you are a Christian or an atheist, Christmas is about coming together with the ones you love, and in doing so, taking the time to express your gratitude for life and loved ones. It isn’t about judging why someone wants to go home, stay home, head to Florida or why they bought what they did, or why they brought the covered dish that they chose to bring.
This year, I’m going with the flow. Whatever anyone wants to do, whether they want to get together or stay home, whether they seem overjoyed by my gifts or whether I receive things that were not on my list – well, it just doesn’t matter. I’m just glad to have the people in my life that I do. Being what I need for me fills me with all that I used to need from and look for in others. Carrying this joy within me is my gift to the world, for with so many frowns in the shopping malls, and people waiting to be disappointed, we all need to get past the physical stuff and let the spirit of the season glow.