Hello everyone! It's 9:30 on Christmas night as I write this. The gifts were opened long ago, and it's been a full day since Santa made his yearly ride around the globe. Everyone's bounty rests beneath the Christmas tree, and bellies are overfull with food and dessert. We're all tired, but happily so, basking in the afterglow of Christmas Day.
It's a great feeling, isn't it?
I'd been really worried that this Christmas was going to be a wash. Work and personal responsibilities were even more taxing than usual on my Christmas spirit this month. It seemed I couldn't listen to all the Christmas music I wanted, see all the Christmas TV I wanted, or simply devote my time and energy to enjoying this time of year. I stressed about getting the right gifts for my wife, both the quantity and quality of them (the only person I shop for--she takes care of everyone else, God bless her). On top of all that, last week our beloved dog Candy passed away after 14 wonderful years with her; her loss has hung heavily on our hearts since then. Even as recently as late last night I went to bed thinking "What kind of day is this going to be?"
I'm happy to say, I needn't have worried. We woke up (later than normal for Christmas Day, but even the kids welcomed the extra time in bed, oddly enough), had our annual Christmas pancake breakfast, then watched the kids delight in Santa Claus's presents. They loved every one of them! My daughter would later say to someone on the phone that she "got everything she wanted." Yes!
And yes, my wife was quite happy with the presents I gave her. Granted, she knew about half of them beforehand--and even bought one for herself on my behalf, but that's beside the point. And, as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed all of my gifts from her, my kids, and my in-laws. Afterwards, a few hours to simply decompress and lounge about, then a big Christmas dinner with my in-laws and some friends.
About an hour ago, I sat on my couch with my wife resting her legs on my lap and thought about the day, and I asked myself, "What was I worried about? This was a good Christmas!"
Today was a good Christmas. Good gifts, good food (lots of it), and everyone in good spirits. What more do you need?
It was a happy reminder that the quality of Christmas isn't about how many lights you have on your house, how many TV specials you've seen, or how many times you've heard "Snoopy's Christmas," as much as I love all of those things. It's about how much you love your life, your family and friends, and how much they love you. If those are solidly in place, your Christmas is set!
Next year, if I feel myself feeling holiday stress all over again, I'll read this post as a wake up call. I don't ever want to forget the valuable lesson I learned today. That lesson was possibly the best gift I received today, and that is a gift I wish you this Christmas and in the new year and beyond.