For the past few weeks many people have said that it did not feel like Christmas. Others asked the question: “Does it feel like Christmas to you?” Sure there were only three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. And it all felt rushed to just get “through it all…” But looking back to all of the lists and tasks and multi tasks….ask yourself in the midst of it all — Did I stop long enough to think, breathe, be? Did I just put down the task of the moment and walk with a friend who just needed to talk? Did I reflect on all the years before this one and think about the journey between each Christmas, year after year?
When my son realized that Santa was not real it was a sad day. Actually it was a sad night, because he had this revelation on Christmas Eve many years ago. And when you know nothing will be the same again, there is a sense of loss and letting go. Poor Santa, poor boy I thought. No more believing….that chapter was now over. But I could not just let the story go and have my son think it was all a lie. I shared with him that Santa is a symbol of the love we have in our hearts to give to each other. We are Santa for each other. We are responsible for each other. Caring for and watching over the people we love and even people we just met, this is what it’s all about. Be kind. Be helpful.
We receive gifts all throughout the year. Most are not wrapped and placed under a tree with a beautiful bow. Most of the gifts are provided to us when we least expect a gift to arrive. That call from a friend. Watching a peaceful snowfall. Walking in silence with someone you care about. Being alone and not feeling lonely. Knowing something you did made a difference. But we must watch carefully. Some gifts are so faint that the light of the gift dims quickly before we have the chance to realize it was ours to enjoy, to receive, and to keep.
Just be. Just breathe. There are the quiet days of the upcoming month of January to pause and reflect. Without reflection we learn so few lessons. Even when things do not make sense, stop. Steady yourself and ask for help. From the person next to you. From the heavens above. From inside of you. Believing is everything. Believe that you can make it through your current circumstances no matter how challenging. We need each other. We rely on each other. The very best gift we can give to anyone is the gift of time and caring and listening. All other gifts matter much less.
On this Christmas Eve may the blessings in your life fill you with warmth and hope and peace. Let us also think of the people around us in our hometowns and workplaces and in our country who have met devastating loss in the past few weeks, months, years. That they may be buoyed up by those around them, by us. That they may feel a shred of hope inside to fill the hollowness. Even if a sliver of light is present when all light seems extinguished. Our pray for each other is to wish for strength and peace and balance. We are all connected and no one is to feel alone, ever. Give your hand. Take a hand. And believe!