I used to hate Christmas. I was turned off by the commercialization of the holiday and the reverence for Santa, but lack thereof for Christ. I mean come on… “Xmas”?! Then I started doing research about the origins of Christmas. I referred anyone who celebrated Christmas a pagan, including my family members, and refused to buy gifts. I declared war on Christmas, but eventually found it to be a fight not worth fighting.
The truth is, I don’t know why everyone celebrates, but I know why I do. I know what's important to me. I’m glad I did my own research, so I can make an informed decision about the traditions I want to keep and those that I don’t. So instead of raining on everyone’s holiday cheer, I use the day off to reflect, celebrate, and rest.
Christmas morning is the quietest after the kids open their presents and ecstatically disappear to find a place for them. That’s the best time to reflect. Reflection is about figuring out what worked and what didn’t. I reflect on my own values, convictions, and shortcomings the most around this time of year. I do my best not to let them get away from me throughout the year, but life has a way thwarting my efforts.
I celebrate my friends and family. Our accomplishments. Life. Love. All of the things I often take for granted. Life takes so many different turns, we’re never promised a warm meal among the people we love. It’s an occasion worth soaking in, so I soak up the good times. I treat every Christmas like it is my last, because it could be. I dance more, I sing louder, and I laugh longer, because if I had nothing else to celebrate, I have life.
Christmas can be really stressful for a lot of people and the fact that the year is coming to an end doesn’t help. Not only are people juggling holiday event details and RSVP’s, but also, like me, thinking about their unmet goals for the year. I remember the end of the year being so stressful, because I thought of it as my last chance to prove myself. I would pick up a new (stressful) workout program to make up for lost time throughout the year. Not anymore. I let myself rest, so I can hit the ground running in the new year.
Cheers to priorities. Cheers to self-reflection. Cheers to being the best you.
Thank you for reading.