For many years, I struggled with the commercialism around Christmas, wishing I could find a way to circumvent the hype and overspending. Instead of improving the situation, I found that my angst about it seemed to make me at best a reluctant participant and at worst a grouch, bordering on curmudgeon.
But this year something shifted. Maybe it's been coming on for years under the influence of Cindy who loves Christmas and who I now see grasped a deeper meaning than I could muster. She loves to GIVE! And she loves to spend time with friends and family. For some reason, I fully absorbed her attitude this year, and we have enjoyed a full month of "Christmas" --wonderful times with family and the deep satisfaction of giving--not only carefully conceived and chosen gifts, but also homebaked cookies and lots of hugs.
This year, I enjoyed my grandchildren's anticipation and pleasure upon opening their gifts at our party. I enjoyed sharing a meal with friends. I enjoyed watching Cindy's delight in spending time with her family, especially her parents. I truly enjoyed the sight of her handing out gifts in her new Tweety pajamas and plaid scarf on Christmas morning, and I enjoyed the bedlam in the afternoon when everyone was passing out and opening gifts.
And I admit, I enjoyed receiving too. When you wish for something and then open a package and the wished for thing sits in your hands! WHOA! It does feel GREAT!
I get it! That's what the giving part of the season is about: fullfilling wishes and witnessing pleasure.