bring back that old fashioned christmas spirit

I wish I had time to have an old fashioned Christmas. It seems like everyone around me is rushing around, giving gifts, hosting parties but not really taking time to enjoy the holiday season. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't have a family or children to take up my time. I have the luxury of reflecting on the holidays and on what they truly mean to me. Almost every major world religion has a winter celebration or ceremony--it isn't the domain of Christians although, in the US it is easy to forget that. What strikes me, in my moments of reflection, is the simplicity of what everyone wants and needs: Peace On Earth.

Sometimes I feel hypocritical for celebrating Christmas when I don't follow any kind of organized Christianity. I don't go to church, don't know if I really even believe in God. But, I do believe in being spiritual, in being connected to the world and to people around me. Isn't that what the Spirit of Christmas is, after all? I can't get past the historical inconsistencies of the Nativity Story, I can't accept or believe it when it doesn't make sense in my soul, my mind, my heart. But I love the beauty of the music, the lights, the decorations and all the celebrations that go with the holiday. I don't think a lot of people really think about the true and deep meaning of Christmas. I don't think it's a deeply religious experience anymore, it seems far too commercial for that.

Even though I buy and exchange gifts; I go for the glitter and shine, yet I do think about how people connect. How we are one family on earth and how petty our political and racial separations are. I watch and listen to frustrated people around me cringe their way through the holidays and I feel a twinge of guilt that I have the luxury of time to enjoy. That several years ago I planned what I want the holiday season to be like for me and I let go of all the trappings that weren't true in my heart. No more baking unnecessary goodies, no more exchanging gifts that aren't meaningful but are plentiful, no more cards at just this time of year... Now when I do what I do it is with thought and deliberation.

I look for more ways to show kindness, too. More random acts of kindness, more intentional being. More love in my heart.

Isn't that what it's supposed to be about?

What if this is as good as it gets?

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