It is Christmas Eve and for the first time in 55 years my Christmas is totally without the usual traditions. It brings a deep sadness. In the midst of chaos and change, I find myself clinging at least to my belief that this is time for peace, generosity and goodwill. It seems the usual "Spirit of Christmas" has disappeared for this year. Even the children I know do not have that same sense of awe and excitement. I find less reminders of the spiritual side of this holiday, as the years pass. Is it just me or have you noticed it too?
Shopping and wrapping are all that remain the same. This is the first year that I remember the gifts being more important than the celebration of the birth of Christ, everlasting love, and hope for peace on earth. Is it just me?
I cannot help but miss the family time, the foods and goodies that have always been a part of the season. I miss the smell of fresh baked buns and christmas bread. I miss planning Christmas Eve with my daughter, and anticipating our usual 3:00 am Santa time.
I miss reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and remembering how we were raised to understand that Santa was a representation of the gift of giving to others, not just at Christmas but everyday. Not just presents but the gift of ourselves.
I miss watching "A Christmas Carol", and all the old-time movies that gave representation to how precious our lives are, and lives of those we interact with daily. Year after year they have brought laughter, tears and memories - all building upon another to create a special feeling that, for me, is Christmas.
Traditions form a basis not just for celebrating holidays such as Christmas, but also for the way we live our lives. It seems, though, that times such as this are a deeper reminder of what is important to us. As I sense the slipping away of Christmas Tradition, I find myself wondering if that trend will run over into the values I live by everyday. How far do we go in compromising our traditions, to meet the new and modern beliefs and values? Should we compromise?
As I share this sense of loss with you, I also want to share my Christmas Wish for All Mankind - Joyful Memories of family and friends, Love of Life, and Peace On Earth. May we be blessed with the reminder that Christmas is a time to give thought to the most precious gift of all - Life itself.
Merry Christmas to All.