Merry Christmas, all! I hope everyone is healthy, peaceful, and fulfilled (or some combination thereof) on this day. I've never really had a lot of committed feelings about Christmas--meaning, I don't have many personal rituals about gift giving, decorating, or card-sending. I like doing all those things, but some years are more fruitful in this way than others. Because of travel plans or transportation issues, I rarely participated in caroling or visiting. Parties were usually confined to the work day or after church. All this to say, I've never made a substantial committment of time or labor to make the holidays a festive wonderment.
This year has been one of ups and downs, and I feel a little differently this time than the last. Thanksgiving always felt a little more my speed--a small, yet vital holiday on which I could count my many blessings, naming them one by one. Christmas has often felt like it called on resources I did not have banked--inner peace, abiding faith, joy, financial strength, unmitigated positiveness, joyous creativity.
My resolution today is to spend this next year banking Christmas spirit. I want to be more loving, more creative, more content, more thoughtful. I want to make people laugh--really laugh. Not just with sarcasm or irony. I want to make things for people and not feel self-conscious about giving them. I want to verbalize my best feelings and share them, unafraid of the consequences. I want to work disclaimers out of my repetoire of things to say. I want to memorize poetry and be ready to quote it. I want to use terms of endearment. I want to be self-controlled in my financial habits, and untiringly generous with my love.
It may be very selfish to say "I want" on Christmas. But this is my wish list for the next holiday season. If I can spend even a moment making those around me happy, fulfilled, peaceful, joyous, healthy, then that will be a tremendous present to myself. No one may be reading this, and I could be saying it all to myself. But today and for this year, I love you, and everyone like you.