With the holiday season upon us, it gave me pause to reflect on the meaning of the holidays.
As a child, the holidays always seemed to bring anticipation of wonder and awe. Not merely for whatever Santa thought I deserved for my behavior during the year but also for the magic of celebrating the baby Jesus birth. Local churches set up living reenactments, standing still through the chill of frost and snow against the glow of soft lights. Somehow, it seemed such a sad, though wondrous commemoration of an event, which literally, changed the world.
Carolers visited each home spreading beautiful harmony of bygone songs, warming themselves with cocoa or hot apple cider offered in appreciation. Many times, for a few moments before they journeyed to the next residence, they toasted their frigid bodies by your hearth, momentarily finding pleasure in the warmth of the fire. They brought us a special feeling within our hearts, not so much of love but a bonding of kindness, thoughtfulness and care of humanity. You felt a part of a much larger picture.
Then the gift of love, presented through homemade cookies, pies, candy, and popcorn balls. As you ate these gifts, each bite held a deeper meaning knowing the great time and effort put forth in their design.
Today, it seems we have lost much of the real meaning of the holiday season. Instead of gratitude for whatever gift bestowed upon us, big or small, store bought or homemade, I see an air of expectation, deserved or not. For every single gift given is a testament of affection, be it elaborate or simple in nature. The gift signifies an act of love, a sign of caring, a gesture of thoughtfulness.
Suppose I have written this article in an attempt to get you thinking about your actions this holiday season. Do you run out and purchase more than your pocketbook allows? Perhaps you find yourself looking at the holiday’s preparation as a chore rather than a joyful, loving experience. Maybe you are ashamed that lack of money will provide little in way of presents for your friends and family.
Take this time to reflect upon what you want the holiday to represent. How you, deep in your heart, wish to celebrate the season, and then do so. For it is not how elaborate the dinner or how many frivolous gifts you purchase, but the warmth and love which surrounds you; the good will to man that carries meaning during the season and months to come.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas season.
Monica M Brinkman,
Author, Radio Host