What happens to Christmas as you get older? As you grow? How does the perspective change? How do you change? As the amount of presents or the reception of presents declines in infatuation, what are we left with? What makes the Holidays so special?
This year my family is not exchanging adult presents. As children getting gifts seems like a beaming light of Holiday attraction. Watching my nephews getting tucked into bed in their Christmas ‘jampies’, leaving out their cookies with milk for Santa, and making sure Daddy puts out the reindeer food, I realize part of the attraction. Traditions, romanticism, nostalgia, family, love (exactly what this picture is talking about). This year especially, as I continue to grow, my thoughts on holidays and occasions changes. Christmas is another time to feel. To feel grateful. To feel joyous. To feel for others. What can I get someone else that they will love? That will make them smile. To feel love in the moment. How fortunate am I to be surrounded by this large group of people. Tied together through blood, through history, through shared traits and experiences, and most importantly through love. They’re your family. A piece of you. No matter what. No matter what you go through. Throughout all the fighting. In the end they are tied to you. There is something special about family. Unique individuals coming together to form a one-of-a-kind family.
Growing up holidays were all about family. Both my parents come from families of five, so holidays are what I now consider ‘lovable chaos’. I am blessed to have this. I am aware of this. Looking around last night and today I am aware of something else. This uniqueness. The gift that each one of these individuals are. As I sit around watching I see this. In large groups I get sucked into watching and listening. Letting others be themselves. Accepting them in my mind as is. Not judging them. They are perfect as is. I am in awe. Something I had posted in the office from Dr Dyer was to live in awe and bewilderment. Doing this in nature is a breeze. I frequently stop in my tracks, open mouthed to stare at scenary laid out in front of me. Recently, though I have begun to incorporate this to the people around me.
When I first started exploring my thoughts on love three years ago, I dealt initially with the oneness of love. Looking for myself in others. A commonality that made me comfortable. But lately I’ve come to realize it is the differences I cherish the most. Just like when I draw. Last week I stopped a woman at the gas station to tell her I loved her freckles, that they were stunning. When around people I do the same thing now. Looking for the quirk, the eclectic nature, the seperating factor. I have always held a deep yearning to learn. Held captive by the unknown, of anything which challenges the reality in my head. These differences enrich life and relationships. Its funny with my friends we have moments were we’re finishing each others sentences and in sync, the next moment we are looking baffled at each other: how are we friends when we are night and day? That’s the beauty of humans. We are alike, yet profoundly different. We can’t judge the differences just because it is something we’re not used to. Because it is not our belief or lifestyle or habit. We can think it a pet peeve, or we can let it be. Drop the opinion. Let the person be. Love the differences. Love that person. They’re a gift, a perfect Christmas gift. Celebrate that person. Celebrate the moments. The uniqueness. The one-of-a-kind family experience. Just like there has never been another you, there has never been another Cliff or Gavin or Taylor or Mario. There has never been a Paulin family or a Dreher family like this one right now in 2013. What is even more beautiful is, it will continue to change. As my brother and KC announce new babies, more torch passing. More dynamic. More personalities. More gifts.
Remember them because that’s what you’ll have in the future. Not the presents. They’ll fade with time and wear, as we lose enthusiasm for them and they go out of trend. As the money is spent or the food is eaten. When you look back what do you see?
- Our presence to loved ones is best Christmas gift – Cardinal Tagle (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Holiday Nostalgia (brendamarroyauthor.com)
- It’s not about the presents (dogsareohana.wordpress.com)
- Holiday Love (takemyfoolishadvice.com)