I just wrote a piece for "Writer's Island" over at Creative Karina, and it's left me feeling a bit nostalgic. The prompt was "this season" and as I started considering what this season means to me, I was brought back to my childhood Christmases, at grandma's house. My grandmother passed away 7 years ago, and Christmas just hasn't been the same since. We still celebrate in grand style, but it is always hard to let go of "the way things were", isn't it?
Still, I find that this is my favorite time of year, and this year in particular I've gotten completely caught up in the spirit of the season. I hear grumblings of "stressmas", and how "commercialized" the holiday has become, how rude people are, and what a financial burden this "whole thing is", and it breaks my heart. Somewhere in the process, we've lost the magic, and how sad is that? But I'm not feeling or seeing those things this year. Instead I see Christmas lights on every other house, I see my mailbox full of personal messages from friends, in the form of Christmas cards, I see my brother who's found his way again, just in time for the holiday. I see friends flying in, and make plans to enjoy their presence. I see myself stepping away from the financial burden and choosing gifts with a purpose behind them. Taking the time to even make some of my gifts, from the heart. I see strangers doing good deeds, donating their time, offering their help. I see the good that comes from thinking about anyone besides yourself for a minute, or ten.
I'm not blind to the negatives. I'm not blind to the P.C. police wanting to take away Santa's "ho, ho, ho", or the Christ out of Christmas. I'm not blind to the Holiday Trees, and the Season's Greetings, meant to unoffend, but perhaps only succeding in a different form of discrimination. I'm not blind to the retail fights for the last Wii in the store, or the shouting matches over a parking space. I see these things, just as you do, and I have opinions, and strong feelings about them all.
But, just for today, I'd like to wallow in the beauty of the snow outside my window, the first White Christmas we'll have in a while. The warmth of the Christmas lights in my living room. The joy of the gifts wrapped under my tree. The sight of something besides bills in my mailbox.
Just for today, I'm going to revel in the spirit.