What exactly does Christmas mean to you this year? Does it mean you are scurrying around finding the perfect gift for your loved one? Shopping on line with anticipation that your package arrives on time? Maxing out your credit cards to pay for those sacred gifts to take a couple of months to pay later? For many people the stress is too much to endure. For many years I was that person, stressed to the hilts. I am sure I added a couple of grey hairs and a wrinkle or two in the process. Why why why did I put that stress on myself?
This year is so different then any other year for some peculiar reason. I have come to realize that Christmas is not meant to be about stress of the size of the gift or how much money was spent on the gift. Christmas is a celebration of life and at the end of the day are you going to remember every gift forty years from now? Likely not. It is December 12th and I have only bought one gift and oddly I don't care.
I have told my adult children this year was going to be different., These children whom have always received everything on their wish list. From laptops to televisions IPhones, PS4's designer clothes and the list goes on and on. There will be no more expensive gifts that will eventually break and become a distant memory. Don't get me wrong it is a wonderful moment watching your child's eyes light up on Christmas day when they receive that perfect gift. Perhaps I was over compensating for the hardship my kids had to face. So many losses and so many bouts of cancer. Too much for kids to see and even understand. Maybe I was trying to fill my Mother's shoes, Mrs Christmas herself, but as much joy she embraced with the season it did cause some stress.
As the year comes to a close I realize I had a great epiphany and I could not be happier. For much of my life I have been a people watcher, but this year I paid close attention to people. Observing their behaviors and sadly many people are either caught up how much stuff they have or how much better they are or so they think are then others. It doesn't eat me up as it used because I know that I do everything with a kind heart with no intentions and never expect anything in return. I have learned that not all people operate the same way. If you have no value to offer them, suddenly you have no value in their life. It was a hurtful lesson to learn at forty nine, but sadly enough I realize many do not do things with good intentions. I am okay with that though.
So back to the reason of this blog. Since I realized some people are less than human I decided to do something different this year for Christmas. Instead of focusing on what is under the tree I will switch my focus on who is around the tree.
Oh he or she is an addict they are unworthy. In whose opinion? What people fail to realize is that addiction is an illness and these people are facing their own demons and no doubt have some feelings of shame. There is no need to make people feel worse by ostracizing them. I am so glad you have the perfect life, but do you really? Just because you do not have an addiction does not mean you are perfect. I have provided money to the homeless and the smile on their face was worth every penny. I will continue on my voyage of kindness not judging others and not wanting anything in return. I like to see smiles. I like to see people have hope even if it is only for ten minutes. It is better than no minutes. I would rather walk alone in kindness than to be surrounded in pretentious.
As we grow closer to Christmas remember the reason is for the season. Look back and reflect and the year gone by. Could you have done something differently? Treated someone better? Forgiven the unforgivable? Random acts of kindness? Accepting without judgement? If so then a new year is dawning and you can reflect upon what you may do differently. We all have a purpose in life otherwise there would be no life.