At Christmas time, we are often faced with many emotions, both sad and happy, and we need to consider both without allowing the sad ones to overwhelm the happy ones. That is not always an easy task, but is a necessary one if we want to enjoy the day and to allow those around us to enjoy it as well.
Often, we want to focus on sad or unhappy memories because they seem to be very near the surface and tend to take over our minds. Mother surely helped me with that problem by telling me to think about the unpleasant memories on my own time and to cry if necessary in order to get them out of my system. She explained that once I faced them, I should then file them in the back of my mind and begin to concentrate on the happy memories in order to be able to enjoy the Christmas season and to celebrate the birth of Christ with joy.
Some of her many lessons have not been easy to follow, but she provided much food for thought and set the example by living her advice. She might share a sad thought or two in order to show that feelings needed to be examined and dealt with before filing them in private places. She would then recall some of the happiest times in order to change our tears to laughter. The feeling of that change has remained with me through the years because it has kept me from staying in the depths for more than a few minutes at a time and has evoked the much needed laughter as I recall the good times we had.
Sometimes, I try to recall the happiest Christmases I can remember and often have a hard time separating one from another because most of them have been very special. Of course, I think first of those times in the canyons because they are among my first memories. If you will think along with me, you will recall that we certainly didn’t receive tons of gifts, but we surely received gifts of love and were delighted to peel that orange we found in the toe of our Christmas stocking and to hold the small toy we found under the tree. We didn’t need any more gifts and certainly had time to appreciate what we received.
As we proceed through our teens and on into adulthood, we can recall many happy times with our families. We can also note the many changes as we think of the gifts we receive today and those of yesterday. We are now surrounded with more modern conveniences than we can count and receive far more gifts than we need, but we still enjoy giving and receiving in the Spirit of Christmas. We smile as we listen to children and their desires and hope they are learning about the reason for giving and receiving. We wonder what they would think were they to receive that orange and small toy.
Our thoughts also turn to the later years and the pleasure we have had, whether or not we have been with our families. Each Christmas has been very special, and by thinking about the good times, each has been a happy day. As we celebrate this year, we will be adding one more special day of memories to our ever growing list and will look fondly at it as time passes.
Let’s all have a very Blessed and Merry Christmas!