For a number of years , I went through a stage when I really didn’t like Christmas very much. In fact, there was a time when Christmas was so overwhelming to me that conversion to Judaism seemed the easier route.
This wasn’t always true. I actually used to be a Christmas Snob. I’d completely overdo Christmas.
My mental list of Christmas duties would start accumulating the day after Thanksgiving and wouldn’t actually let up until the sun went down on Christmas day.
Home movies of me after Christmases when my kids were little reveal a thin, pale woman sitting on the couch, robotically drinking coffee in a semi-comatose state while everyone else is running around playing and laughing.
Anyway, my fanatical inner Christmas perfectionism would zap all the joy and energy that was to be had out of the season. I had no one to blame but myself.
Chasing this Perfect Snow White Christmas took such a toll on me that January became my favorite month of the year because it was the furthest away from Christmas.
And yet, when another Christmas would roll around, I could never tone it down. I was stuck on a hamster wheel in search of Christmas Perfect.
But now that I’m older, wiser (and much, much lazier), I don’t make lists to see if everyone has the same amount of presents to open. I don’t bake my fingers to the bone or shop til I drop.
I wrap the presents and put them under the tree. Then I sit back and watch and enjoy everyone around me because I’ve finally learned the Big Christmas Lesson:
Christmas is our opportunity to jump off the hamster wheel of life for a while and just be deliberately present with the people we love.
Christmas is about being present.
How ironic that it turns out Christmas is about the presents after all!
Until next time . . . I love you