It seems to happen every year, without fail. Even on years that I feel that I have not done enough or in this season “bought” enough for my family. I feel like what I have is a poor representation to how important they all are to me. It’s not enough to show them that the things they do on a daily basis for me…the phone calls…support…words of encouragement…favors…they are not clearly represented in the gifts I have bought them…
I know the gifts don’t matter. I know they’d love me no matter what. I know they are my family and we are just happy to spend the holiday together still…yet…I feel like I need to show them…and every year I feel like I haven’t done enough….and then I have my night of wrapping.
I like to do it all at once. I revel in completing tasks from start to finish so I don’t even bother starting to wrap if I know everything isn’t bought yet. I usually turn on some Christmas music or watch a hallmark movie…and try to think of all things magical and Santa like while I try to make every package look like it came straight from the North Pole. I like this night. I take pride in it.
Tonight I took pride in something else all together.
As I gathered all the bags…from the sacred guest room closet known as the “gift closet” and brought them all downstairs to take their position in front of the TV…then grabbed all the paper, bows, tissue paper and bells I would need to beautify them all…I was struck dead in my steps.
I don’t know what news story may have triggered it. I don’t know if it was something I maybe read on facebook…or maybe just the real spirit of Christmas grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me straight….
But I felt it hard.
Like…I teared up.
It was a plain spirit of gratefulness. I starred down at all the bags…bags I didn’t think were enough seconds ago I now saw as too much. I looked around my house…at my decorated tree and my working TV…and my thermostat turned up (because Andy was out for the night)…I looked at all of these things and just thought…”why am I not more grateful every fricken day?”
I believe in the spirit of Christmas. It’s one of the reasons I love it so much. I believe it’s a state of being…and spirit of giving…a time for miracles…and yet…I need to be better at feeling it every day of the year.
I was overcome with such gratefulness tonight as I looked around at all my blessings…the presents I could afford to buy my family…the names I wrote on each tag…a name that belonged to someone who was not only still here with us…but healthy…
The triplets…who came into this world…fate unknown…now all getting pajamas size 2t…growing stronger than ever…my nephew getting a game that requires much brain power with hand eye coordination…and he’s capable of doing it…my parents…still not just with us but healthy and so ready to be part of our lives and willing to help us at any turn…my husband…who works so hard to give me so many things I simply desire…(like a high thermostat)…this house I live in..the list just went on..
My heart goes out to those families tonight…the ones struggling to make ends meet…the ones hurting from losing a loved one…the ones praying for their babies safety…my heart is with you…
I prayed for you tonight. And I can promise you that I will seek out ones like you to make a difference in this Christmas. I will do something to make someone else’s life better…I will pay it forward…I will pass my blessings along…because after all…
I believe Christmas is not just a season…but a spirit that lives inside us.