With Christmas literally days away, I can’t help but think about past Christmas holidays. I observe people scurrying throughout town and in stores attempting to snag the item they desire for others. I don’t know about everywhere else, but around here people can become quite rude during this time of year. I just don’t get it. Since when did Christmas become about what is placed underneath a tree? Isn’t Christmas supposed to be about something so much more powerful and meaningful than what hot ticket item one managed to snag on sale–if one can truly call it a sale–or the most expensive gift received? People become crazy in an attempt to gain that popular toy, the most exquisite clothes and jewelry, or the newest piece of technology. I admit that I, too, search for those items that I know that my family and loved ones will greatly enjoy and appreciate, but I cannot see myself running around and driving myself insane in search of it. Yes, I want my family to have a memorable Christmas, but at what cost?
I remember one year while growing up, my family and I had recently moved to Texas. If I remember correctly, it was our first Christmas there. We were still settling down, so needless to say, we had a small Christmas. There was no traditional Christmas tree in our apartment; instead, we cut green pieces of construction paper, placed the paper on the wall in the shape of a Christmas tree, and decorated it with stringed popcorn and colored paper rings strung together. Underneath our tree were gifts but not quite like years past or years to come. Now, some may say, “That sounds so sad. You didn’t even have a tree.” And, I would have to disagree. That Christmas was probably one of the best that we have ever had! We may not have had a traditional Christmas tree, but we still had one. We may not have had a ton of presents underneath the tree, but that didn’t matter. We had each other. We had an abundance of love. We had great laughs. We made wonderful memories.
Another year that stands out in my mind occurred when I had just graduated from college. My husband and I had been married for three years. Having just graduated from Auburn University, I had been without work for nearly six months because of my internship. At this time, I had just been hired in my new field, but my job did not start until January. Needless to say, there was a little bit of a struggle in our house at this time of year. I remember worrying greatly about how to afford Christmas gifts for everyone. I so desperately wanted to get everyone everything they desired, but our budget said otherwise. I was upset, but my husband reassured me that everything would be fine because it was Christmas and not about the gifts, but about the time spent with family. (Yes, he is my voice of reason when I fail to have some.) The small gifts we were able to afford were enjoyed by all, which made me smile. But, again, it was not the amount of money spent on anything; it was the time we shared, the love among us, and the memories we made.
My point is this: I know we all want to get those items that our loved ones desire, but we must remember that it isn’t about material things. Christmas is about the moments spent with family and friends that become some of the best memories in our hearts. Those moments become rarer each year as we grow older. We must remember the reason for the season. Slow down and enjoy it.
Of course, these are just the opinions of a southern girl. I’ll take my time, capture every moment, and love every minute. Merry Christmas!