Merry Christmas Eve! For the second to last day of my 12 Days of Christmas, I wanted to talk about what Christmas means to me. This Christmas feels different. It seems like whenever I get used to a new normal, things change again. I’m not exactly one to react well to change which is ironic because life is constantly changing. Christmas means a lot of different things to a lot of different people – so why not add my voice into the mix.
This Christmas feels different because there are things in my life that are changing again. Right when I got used to how things were after they were changed a few years ago. One of the major changes is that my brother and his fiance are moving out of state and we won’t be able to see them as often as we do now – since my brother does still live at home with us. Among other pending life changes that are coming up all within a year and all the current life changes, it’s been a bit of an emotionally draining Christmas. I’m trying had to feel in the festive mood, but it’s hard.
When I’m not in the festive mood around this time I start to feel guilty – because I am a guilty person by nature – and then I get frustrated with myself. I get frustrated because this time comes around once a year and I can’t even get into the mood that I’ve been waiting for all year for. Which brings me to the point of this post, to actually talk about what Christmas means to me.
Christmas is not…
It’s not about the presents. It never has been for me. Yeah, when I was younger I loved getting new Barbie sets and whatever else I got. But even if I didn’t receive anything, I would have been fine. Because it’s not about gifts – big or small.
It’s not about how big and extravagantly your house is decorated for Christmas. A full tree, Charlie Brown tree or no tree, it really doesn’t matter. Sure, those things are great and fun but that’s not Christmas.
It’s not about how much money you spend on gifts. Or how big of gifts you buy. Christmas isn’t worth going into debt for just to show people you love them. If you have to buy things for people to love you, they don’t actually love you and you should probably try to stop talking to them.
It’s not about all the things that society tells us Christmas should be. It’s commercialized like crazy today. And I agree that those commercialized things are fun to indulge in a little bit. But if you were to take those things away from the Christmassy mix, that would be okay, Because that’s not Christmas.
It’s about spending time with the people you love the most. The people that give you the warm fuzzies and make you smile and laugh so much your stomach hurts. For me, that just so happens to be my family and boyfriend. But whoever it is for you is who you should spend your Christmas with. It’s so important to be with people that fill your glass rather than emptying it.
Now, I’m not sure if any of my family reads my blog, but the feeling that I get when I’m with them, especially for holidays, is something that I find hard to put in words – this includes my boyfriend. But what I do know is that it’s a love so deep and wide that when I think about our holiday get together’s it makes me want to cry. They’re some great people, loud and crazy sometimes, but great people. There’s no one else I’d rather spend the holidays and life with than them.
It’s about tolerating those you aren’t crazy about for other people that you love. Like it or not, the holidays include sacrifices sometimes on who you have to spend some time with. Even if I’m not totally crazy about people I have to spend time with, I know I’m doing it for someone that I have such great love for that it’s worth it. It’s worth all the anxieties I have in social situations and the panic that can come along with it. It will always be worth it.
It’s about giving back. Christmas is a time to be less angry towards other people and trying to have a little bit more empathy and understanding for others. If you have any resources to give, give.
That is what Christmas is to me. Christmas is about love, light, and being as in the moment as you can with those you love. Doing what you can for others. Thinking about others more so than yourself. The holidays can be hard and sometimes they’re never the same. Christmas is different when there is one less plate setting. It’s different when traditions have to be ended. Christmas is different when your big brother is leaving after being only one bedroom door away from you for twenty-one years to being several hours away. Sometimes it’s hard and emotionally draining – like this year.
But that’s life. And you have to keep going despite it all. And I will always appreciate Christmas for being love, light, and being in the moment. I love Christmas so much and even when things are tough nothing will ever change that.
So, that’s what Christmas is about to me. I can’t wait to start a new tradition today of spending Christmas Eve with my boyfriend and I even got us matching PJs to wear after all the festivities are over with! This Christmas is hard, but one I will hold dear to my heart since it’s the last one with my brother at home and my first Christmas with my boyfriend.
What does Christmas mean to you?
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the last blog post of the Christmas season this year!