Merry December: Remembering the Real Christmas

credit: J.Denevan (me)/ just my Christmas cards and presents a good friend sent to me

credit: J.Denevan (me)/ just my Christmas cards and presents a good friend sent to me

First and foremost: Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone is having a great day celebrating in whatever way is best for you – whether that be busy with opening lots of gifts and going crazy with family and friends or having a nice relaxed day just watching movies and drinking hot chocolate or whatever. I know my day has been relaxed. I’ve had the past three days off of work and today and it’s been nice to not be in any kind of hurry.

I have to admit to being bummed when it turned out I couldn’t get to Denver to see family and friends for the holidays. I was also bummed that I couldn’t at least go up north to see my extended family in Santa Cruz and Sebastopol. In the end it’s worked out pretty well though. First – as I said, I’ve had the chance to sleep and just hang out and not be in a rush. I have done a few chores and been somewhat productive, all good things. Between last night and today, I’m watching the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the extended version and just taking it easy.

The one thing I did do for Christmas Eve was to put up my “decorations” if you will. I received several Christmas cards and one thing my family used to do is put the cards up where they could be seen, usually the stair railing. I don’t have that indoors so I just put them up around a sign that used to hang in my grandparents home. The sign says:

Donde hay fe, hay amor; donde hay amor, hay paz

donde hay paz, esta´ Dios; donde esta´ Dios, no falta nada

English: Where there is faith, there is love; where there is love there

is peace; where there is peace, there is God; where there is God,

nothing is lacking.

I personally thought it fitting to have the cards, so full of love surrounding such a saying. My grandfather passed away in March 2011 and so this saying and poster means so much to me. I was closest to him and he was such a devout Catholic. He gave so much love during his live that it was fitting that he should still be surrounded by love now, especially for Christmas.

I finished putting up the cards and then I set my friend’s gifts to me underneath, but on top of my “Lord of the Rings” throw that my mom and brother gave me for one Christmas years ago. Even though I’m celebrating alone, as I finished my little area, I realized I wasn’t really alone. I could feel the love embrace me and I was overcome with the real spirit of Christmas. The cards came from family and friends but also from folks whom I volunteer with and it was so neat to see them all hung up together. There really was an overwhelming sense of love and heartfelt gratitude and more.

It so easy to forget what Christmas is about with all the retail sales that go on and the materialistic ways. We get stuck on going to movies on Christmas or making sure the tree is filled with gifts that we overlook that it’s about the time spent together. We forget that Christmas is about being giving, not necessarily of expensive gifts, but of our time, our love. It’s about being sincere, caring, kindness and generosity. I was truly reminded of this as my cards showed me kindness and generosity with hearing back from the volunteers I work with – they give so much of themselves to serve our brave men and women overseas who can’t be home with loved ones for the holidays.

I was reminded of love and sincerity as I looked on my friends’ cards to me; that no matter what I do or where I go, my friends will always be with me – in  mind and spirit. Caring was shown to me in the form of the cards from all of them. They took the time to include me in their time taken to say their kind words and send a card. It was awesome to see them take the time to show they care. That’s what Christmas is about.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy your time with your families and friends. May this be a time to reflect on the best side of humanity as it does still exist.

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