Friday, December 17, 2010

What Christmas Means to Me

As promised here is my Christmas blog, I honestly wasn't expecting it to come so soon either, but I was inspired. Any of you writers out there can testify that when the inspiration comes, you must let it flow. So let me just give you some background info, in case you don't actually know me, or don't know me as well as you should. I LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC. When I was a kid, I remember listening to a Christmas tape of my mom's in like August! I still listen to the same music I did when I was 7 and I know every single word. I love our family's CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS! First the Nativity Scene: we usually set it up near the Christmas tree, with the Baby Jesus hiding of course until after Christmas Eve Mass. The wise men are also separated from the rest of the scene and they get moved closer each day until the Epiphany. We always going to mass on Christmas Eve, whether the Children's liturgy or the Midnight Mass, my personal favorite is the Midnight service. Usually either before or after mass, we open our "Christmas Eve Gift," which coincidentally is also how your greet people on Christmas eve. Nine times out of ten the Christmas Eve Gift is cutesy matching pajamas. For the past 18 years or so, I, along with my brother, will watch "Muppet's Christmas Carol" on Christmas Eve. For as long as I can remember, I have never been able to sleep on Christmas Eve. I have ALWAYS BEEN the first one up on Christmas day. In fact, Harry Connick, Jr. sings a song "I'm Gonna Be The First One" that he wrote just for me. :) FYI: WE from now includes Cassi and I as children and Bobby and I for the last 13 years. :) So WE get up and go through our stockings that we strategically placed the night before so that Santa could fill them up with all kinds of goodies. I would like to say this is my favorite, but the WHOLE HOLIDAY is my favorite! So "WE" go through our stocking bit by bit, usually with one or two big-ish presents sitting outside of our stocking. WE of course are super quiet during this time, cause mom and dad are still asleep, seeing as how it's like 5 am. Around 6:30- 7, we finally get brave enough (hungry enough/excited enough, take your pick) to go wake up mom and dad, usually showing them one of the gifts that Santa got for us. Next all of us, go through our stockings, children dumping it all out now that we don't have to be quiet. Then, the parade or something gets turned on the TV, WE play with something new that we just got, while mom and dad start to cook us pancakes (occasionally waffles) for breakfast. After breakfast, we pass out all of the presents to the members of the immediate family. Once all presents are passed out, the opening bananza begins. You can usually tell when you're opening something good cause mom will stop and watch and have her camera ready to take a picture, this is true even to this day. Then the rest of the family comes out, which is normally Bernetta, perhaps Genece, nowadays Cassi, Josh and the kids. And the present process happens again. I'm sure very similar things happen, or happened at your house, but I'm not sure if I would be ok with something just similar. haha. Which brings me to my point... (I know that was a lot of background info, but I think this next part is going to good so stay with me)
So, I was about Bobby's age when Bobby came around and I'm fairly certain if he hadn't come around, I would have had this brainblock then, but as I said getting up early and seeing the Santa gifts is one of my favorite things to do at Christmas, in fact there were a couple of years where I was more excited than bobby, so I took a Tylenol PM before bed so I could actually SLEEP on Christmas morning. So Bobby has overtaken my joy for Santa and christmas and until this year, at least as far as we know, still believed in Santa. Most people may mock him for such a thing, I however applaud him. I also think it comes from having me as a big sister and from watching "The Santa Clause" too many times as a kid. So this year he found out, which means no more Santa. I shamefully admit that I was saddened by the discovery of this fact. I started wondering what I had to look forward to on Christmas Day. Coupled with the fact that I don't really make a lot of money and wasn't really sure that my gifts wouldn't just be a dissappointment, I just completely lost the Christmas Spirit. I stopped listening to Christmas Music, I didn't go shopping at all, I just wasn't interested. It was my students, actually I think that changed my mood. Our school newspaper had an editorial about Christmas by one of the students. She said something close to the following: Christmas isn't about buying gifts or getting up at 4 am. Christmas is about showing love, we buy gifts to see our loved ones reaction knowing that we put effort into it. God showed us his love by giving us his son, so we show love to one another with our gifts.
I think this is where it gets tricky, cause our love is not measured by the amount of money we spend on each other. Rather, our love is shown by the time we spend with our loved ones.
One day, I hope to carry on the traditions with my own family, of course combining with those of my husband's. I'm also plan to challenge myself, as I challenge you, the reader, now, to add other acts of love to your Christmas traditions: serving those less fortunate, helping salvation army, the Angel Tree, or be creative and find some other act of love or kindness. So that when the "magic" of Christmas fades away, the meaning is there as a reminder of the "Reason for the Season."
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Here is My Christmas Gift to you all :)

1 comment:

  1. Teddy
    You outdid yourself this time. You hit the nail on the head. No matter who you are or what you buy or don't buy or can't afford for Christmas, The real reason for the season just takes over, pulls at the heart strings and sings louder than everything and everyone.
    It's not what we hold in our hands, it's what we hold in our hearts that is the true blessing at Christmas and all year long.

    God Bless you and your family this special Christmas and yes, I LOVE the Christmas songs too.