YEAR after year without fail at around this time, December days and nights seem to slip from our grasp like fine grains of sand. The hours seem to hurtle through the day as we complete a year’s cycle and move on to the next.
Many of us try in earnest to mesh the unusually heavy demands of the roles we play in our lives. If we get completely sidetracked by the minutiae, the expenses and the endless activities of what constitutes Christmas, we are more than likely to morph into the likes of Ebenezer Scrooge and be tempted to say “Bah, humbug!”
But unlike the tightwad Scrooge, the cost of doing Christmas has little to do with it. More than likely, the heaviness and drudgery that we seem to associate with this season have a lot to do with the failure to find that somewhat elusive sense of real joy that this season can bring in abundance to those who are open to it.
Sure, we can go through the motions of Christmas activities, shopping, baking, decorating, partying, drinking and binging. And yet, very often even if we diligently check off all the things in our list, something remains amiss. We just don’t have that Christmas feeling.
The spirit of the season is like a butterfly. If we keep mindlessly trashing about in endless activities, it will elude us but if you sit very still, that Christmas feeling might simply alight on us.
Be still and soak in the sight, sounds and smells of the season. One trick I have learned is to simplify and not try to take on too much of anything, and that includes refraining to max out my credit cards, no matter how infinitely tempting it is to rush out and join the shopping madness in stores or online.
Each day of the season, count at least one blessing that you may have taken for granted — like your family, dysfunctional or imperfect the members may be, they are all you’ve got. If you still have relatively good health and do not have to depend on a cocktail of drugs to get you through the day, rejoice and be glad. Many wealthy yet ailing people will trade places with you in a heartbeat. There are countless things to be thankful for.
Love your life but without conceit. It is simply on loan to you. Treasure the hours. Forcibly yank out just an hour each day during this season to take the time to smell the coffee, drink tea or quaff the cocoa in a quiet spot free of the interruptions of all those ring tones.
Unless your job entails spelling the difference between life and death, cut off your electronic leash, at least for just an hour. Who said you have to be on call all the time? That hour you gift yourself with is yours to savor and JUST BE. That hour might very well help you get back that gift of amazement we once had when we were children, before we became jaded souls.
Lest we forget, Christ is still the reason for the season.
Pay no attention to the godless fools who would like to delete him from the season. The strongest evidence of Christ living in our hearts during this season is an inner glow and outward manifestation of joy that wells within, overflows and like a heaven-sent viral infection affects those we work and live with within the orbit of our lives.
Sorrow, pain and disappointments — we will always have. Somehow, if we choose to be above all these, such experiences can carve out our character and make us even stronger, much like steel forged in fire. They have a place in the general scheme of things.
But just for this season, believe that you are allowed to get a moratorium from all that. This season is filled with awesome wonders and all it takes is to open our eyes, sharpen our senses and soak them all in.
We have become inured to the possibilities of joy each moment brings. Conditioned by years of mundane repetition, we have lost the magic and wonder we were born with. We went through the motions of getting an education, raising a family, earning a living, running a business, working ceaselessly, it seems till we drop down dead or until Social Security says we can stop, (whichever comes first), sleeping and doing the same things all over again at daybreak. Routine and predictability though calming, can numb the soul over time.
This season is a joyful reminder of what truly counts in life. If there is anything that this season teaches us, it is that we can find joy in almost anything if we have thankful, humble hearts.
From my family to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.
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