The True Meaning of Christmas

My sister and I called a truce this Christmas. No, we have not been fighting. Well, no more than the usual bickering thatOur Christmas Tree sisters tend to do. What we decided upon was to get back to the true meaning of Christmas. For years now we have been “one-upping” each other in our Christmas gifting and it has gotten to be too much. No wonder Christmas has been called the most stressful time of year! Instead of our usual race to find the most over-the-top and best gift of the year, we made a plan to only spend a certain amount of money and only get gifts for people that they need. In other words, no super flying sock monkeys, laser light show machines, whacky animal pants, or jumbo jars of “the ashes of problem students.” We each made a list of essentials. Things we need, but may not necessarily spend the money on ourselves, like another pair of those awesome Darn Tough socks, a new hunting vest because the old one is worn out, or perhaps a certificate for a massage, (something I really need, okay okay really want, but never want to spend the money on).

This was harder said than done as I am one of those shoppers that always seem to see lots of “stuff” that no one really wants or needs but I think is really cool. You know who you are. Everyone does it. You are standing in line at the registrar and you see a sale on those grow-a-boyfriend things and you snigger to yourself as you throw a few in your cart because you know a few people who would crack up if they got one in their stocking. Well I have to say, I am pretty proud of myself. I have kept to the agreement and have curbed my craving to go Christmas Crazy.

Actually, it has been really nice. It is a week before Christmas and I am not stressing out over the fact that I have five presents for my father and only four for my sister. Most years that would send me into a spiraling panic. Nope. This year I feel I am more excited to give the presents I have bought because I actually know they will like, enjoy, and use them. I have even moved the agreement to the extended gift giving that I do. At work I kept things simple and meaningful. Each of my co-workers received homemade jars of jams, jellies, and fruit and nut conserves. I am pretty sure I got more oohing and aahing over my homemade apple cranberry honey lemon jam than last years store bought gifts. I made a scarf for my best friend, a hat for my sister-in-law, and baked cookies for other co-workers and neighbors. It felt good to give gifts from the heart and home. Just as it is going to feel good to see everyone open useful and appreciated things on Christmas morning.

The holidays should be a time for family, friends, love, remembering the past and looking forward to the future. How can anyone not like Christmas when those are the true values that it has. My favorite quote from the movie Miracle on 34th Street is when Kris Kringle says “Christmas isn’t just a day; it’s a frame of mind.” When you think about what Christmas is all about, it is true. It is not just a day that should be a flurry of wrapping paper and presents under the tree, but a time, a period when you think about the world around you and your place in the world. It’s a time to help your neighbor, smile just because, and be with the people you love. This is something that should be done every day of the year, but if not, then at least people can embrace that frame of mind during Christmas time.

Sitting in front of our fireplaceI hope you are all with your loved ones and are sitting by a fire sipping glogg this Christmas, but most of all, I hope that this frame of mind extends into your New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year everyone!

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  1. Christmas in the Dark « Vermont Farm Heart - December 25, 2012

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