With that said, as far as I'm concerned, after Thanksgiving has passed (I repeat: AFTER), it is all about Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate! November is a traditionally challenging month for my family, most of our late family members passed away in a November (including my grandmother, who passed on Thanksgiving 10 years ago this year). If no one is dying, someone is in the hospital. My mother and my Uncle Tommy were both admitted to the hospital this month and are there as I type. My Uncle's condition is very serious and we are grateful for each day we have with him. My mom has been trying to get over a bout of pneumonia she contracted during a surgery on her foot. If no one's in the hospital, some other Little-House-on-the-Prairie'esque tragedy is bound to be bouncing around the family, and it's not unusual for a few of these circumstances to pile up on top of each other.
So, perhaps the reason Christmas is so special to me is because most of the years of my life that I can remember, Christmas has followed a very tough time in our family and somehow instead of making me bitter and pitting me against the holiday, it has always been able to warm and heal my heart when it seemed like my heart was broken beyond repair. Somewhere between the soft glow of the tree lights, the chilly air, the feeling of closeness that exists between random strangers and the wandering all over creation to find the perfect gift for that special someone, my heart becomes filled to the absolute brim with joy, peace, and the comfort of true gratitude.
I've been feeling overwhelmed with some of life's challenges lately, and got to a point where I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. So tonight I decided to really clean my bedroom and sitting room and decorate for Christmas. I got done a little while ago, and now I am sipping some hot chocolate, listening to the Christmas station on Pandora radio, and enjoying the warm light of my mini Christmas tree while the traffic hums by outside. It's a wonderful, calming feeling that I've been desperately longing for. I'm so glad that I've finally found it. It might not last forever, but right now it's here and I am enjoying every minute of it.
I hope that you can also find peace and joy this holiday season. Try to look beyond the cheesy commercials, the scrooges, the stress of the finances and the gift giving, and search for the true reason for celebrating, whatever that means to you. It doesn't matter if you are a Christian, Jewish, an athiest or agnostic. If you are searching for peace this holiday season, you deserve to find it. No matter what, where or how you celebrate, celebrate it with your heart and soul and look for the good in every single day - I promise you, it is there.
|My little tree|