The thought of you still brings me joy.
It's that time of year again! The trees are up, fireplaces are lit, stockings are hung, and so on. There is just something about Christmas that gives me warm and fuzzy feelings (despite the awful temperatures outside). As I have grown, the meaning of Christmas has transformed immensely for me. As a child, no different than any other little one, I just could not WAIT to wake up Christmas morning and see that magical Barbie house that was taller than me standing in our living room topped with a bright blue bow. Knowing that the plate once full of cookies would be left with a few crumbs, and a tall empty glass right beside it. It brought me joy. Those were the days.
And now? Although not in the same ways, Christmas brings me more joy than ever. I did go through a phase, as I'm sure many people my age do, where Christmas lost its spark. And I'm here to tell you, it hasn't lost its spark, you just have to find it. It may not come as easy as it once did, but it is still there. I was lucky enough to be home to help put up and decorate our Christmas tree. As I sat on the living room floor with my mom, delicately unwrapping each ornament and hanging it in the perfect place, I couldn't help but smile. It brings back so many childhood memories, and it makes me happy to always have those in my heart, and to one day share those with my own children. It also makes me happy that we are continuing to make good memories.
I have also found a spark in giving. As a child, I didn't quite understand. I wanted to take and take and take. Christmas without presents? I don't think so! Now, however, I struggle to form a Christmas list. I would so much rather give. If I'm going to spend my own money, nothing makes me happier than seeing smiles on the faces of my loved ones as they open the most perfect gift! I have found great joy in giving, and I think I will continue to do so. It is my new "spark."
Maybe Christmas doesn't bring the same magic that it brought me as a child, but it still brings magic. So my letter to Santa this year is simple. It is not full of 'wants' or material items. It is not about the size of the beautifully wrapped packages under the tree. All I ask for is a safe and merry holiday season; a time to relax, and enjoy good company. And I wish the same for all of you!
This week I challenge everyone to put some change in a little red bucket. You know, the ones outside the grocery stores? Where they ring the bells? I don't care if it's a dime or a twenty dollar bill. Put something in that bucket, because I promise that someone needs it this Christmas a little more than you do.
Have a wonderful week, and Merry Christmas :)