Ever since I was a little girl, Christmas has been my favorite holiday. There was something so magical about being on holiday break from school, spending time with my family and friends, taking in all of the beautiful festive decorations in the neighborhood, putting up our decor and Christmas tree, and of course, opening the gifts under the tree. I mean, can you blame me?? There was literally nothing not to love about Christmas.
As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve loved Christmas even more. But, less for the gifts under the tree, and more for the actual gift of life and love all around me. This year has been a great one, filled with many highs and lows, and I would be remiss to not be grateful for the many gifts I have received this year, tangible and intangible. In the same breath, I’d be a phony to pretend like I don’t sometimes get sucked into the materialism that Christmas can become.
As I sat down on my couch, one week away from Christmas, with not a single gift under the tree, I thought to myself “Umm, are you sure this is your favorite holiday?” For a split second, I actually felt bad for not having a million and one gifts under the tree, or even one gift for that matter. Then my daughter walked over to the tree, stared at all the lights and smiled from ear to ear. She ran over and hopped on my lap, grabbed the remote and turned to me and said “mommy, lets watch the frog”, which is short for Princess & The Frog, her current favorite movie. My boyfriend came downstairs, and the three of us sat down and watched the movie, singing along to all of Sanai’s favorite parts. It was in that moment I was reminded that there was no gift in the world under a tree that could amount to the gift that keeps on giving: family.
I encourage everyone to take a moment to just be grateful for everything they have, even if it doesn’t seem like enough, it is. If you woke up this morning, that’s a gift. If you went to work this morning, that’s a gift. If you heard the word “mommy”, that’s a gift. If you’re able to call your mother, that’s a gift. If you have a roof over your head, food on your table, and clothes on your back, that’s a gift. If you’re reading this right now, that is a gift! For parents, understand that your children will take from this holiday what you make of it. If you paint this to be a holiday that warrants loads of gifts under the tree, then that will be their expectation. If you paint this to be a holiday about family time, Christmas movies, gingerbread houses, and cookies for Santa, then that will be their expectation. And even if you don’t have children, your actions around this holiday will determine the feelings you will have during this time. For me, Christmas will be about love, quality time, and tradition. We have already started our own family traditions and I can’t wait to experience them year after year. I have a challenge for everyone: let’s put less emphasis on the gifts under the tree and focus on the gifts that really matter. By all means, enjoy your Christmas, but don’t forget the reason for the season.
Xo, Consuella ♥