Picture this for a moment. It’s around 7:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve and gifts are getting packed into a blue van by a gentle and beautiful mother and her handsome and determined husband. The couple is engaged in conversation, discussing the beauty of the crisp and clear weather and how it was a perfect evening for Christmas Eve. Meanwhile two little girls are preparing in their rooms with quiet excitement and anticipation. The younger of the two is making sure her outfit is comfy, with her priceless red toy dog Rover always by her side and her favorite blanket tucked safely away in her little backpack. In contrast, her older sister is trying to pick out the most festive outfit possible. She cautiously and painstakingly applies her new lip gloss and extravagantly sprinkles on some powdered sparkle because at age nine, sparkle is an ABSOLUTE necessity. She takes a step back and looks at her festive and sparkly outfit in the mirror and smiles, pleased with her creation. The two little girls head over to where their parents are and climb into the van, all ready for the journey to grandma’s house.
That glitter obsessed nine year old girl was me. Ever since I was young, Christmas has been my favorite occasion and I have never regarded it with anything less than pure adoration. Every Christmas Eve we still set off to Grandma’s house with 15 of our extended family members where we eat a delicious home cooked Brazilian meal, indulge in outrageous amounts of delectable deserts, and sit around the tree as we open up our gifts; it’s a wonderful time marked by love, laughter, and memories that are everlasting. As kids, we insisted upon taking every single gift we received out of their original boxes and putting in batteries before we ever even left Grandma and Grandpa’s house, (of course our parents hated this, running the risk of screaming children after losing a Barbie shoe, or car tire). At the end of the festive occasion, I remember being carried out of the house into the car around midnight, eyes heavy with sleep, but still filled with excitement for Santa’s arrival. Before I would even have time to wish it would come sooner, morning would come. My little sister and I would jump out of bed and run to awaken our parents (only after the necessary and proper application of lip gloss of course). We spent Christmas day in our fleece holiday pajamas opening more gifts and eating yummy and scrumptious pastries. Later in the evening, we would head to church to celebrate the birth of Jesus. There was something so special about putting on a fabulous holiday dress and walking into the beautifully lit church. We would sing songs of joy and watch the story of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus come to life!
The Holidays have been filled with magical memories for as long as I can remember. People ask me why I am still so adamant about my love and adoration for Christmas. For many, it’s hard to believe that a 22 year old, known for her responsible and determined spirit so enamored with the Christmas holiday. Christmas gives people a reason to dream, relive memories, and enjoy the promise of magic; it’s a chance for people to believe in something again.
Christmas is only a few days away. I challenge you to rethink how you “do” Christmas. Is it just a superficial, commercialized holiday or, “The best time of the year!”? Make it special, do something different, step outside of your comfort zone, think outside the box. I want to hear your Christmas traditions, and what YOU decide to do differently for your friends and family this year. So make sure you comment below! I will leave you with the following quote;Christmas is not about the gifts, it’s about the feeling you get watching a loved one OPEN the gift you gave them. It’s not about an abundance of food or desserts but about the love and care that went into making all of that food and the stories that are shared while eating it. It’s not about the Christmas tree standing tall but about the memories you make with your friends and family while sitting around that beautiful Christmas tree. We spend most of the year “facing the facts”, “following our heads instead of our hearts”, “growing up”, or “getting our heads out of the clouds”. The holiday season is that one time of year where people finally allow themselves to remember and embrace the dreams they once dreamt. It gives them an excuse to unleash their inner child, to remember the thrill of a good adventure, and the excitement of the mysterious North Pole. The magic of the season allows us to give in to love and learn to show compassion.
Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.
Warmest Holiday Wishes,