When I look back at the Christmas holidays throughout my life – I see a progression from childhood excitement to teenage apathy, to young adult enthusiasm, to my current midlife contentment. I did not grow up in a particularly religious home. As such, in my childhood, Christmas was a secular, American celebration complete with trees, decorations, cooking, baking, and an abundance of gifts from Santa.
In my post-Santa adulthood, the holidays have come to be a time to reconnect with family I see only during holidays, weddings or funerals. More recently the holidays have become a time to share food and drink with dear friends, a time to reach out to friends in faraway places, and a time to remember those no longer among us who made the holidays memorable with their smiles, their hugs and their love.
I have to admit, even now clinging to the last days of my 53rd year, when I drive by a home that brightens the night with twinkling lights and decorations, both tacky and tasteful, I flash back to that excited Christmas morning feeling of eager anticipation. There is something special about this time of year, even for those of us who have chosen different spiritual paths.
So, no matter how you choose to celebrate, whether with the family into which you were born or the family you have created for yourself along the way, I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a wonderful Winter Solstice, a satiating Saturnalia, a fun-filled Festivus, a Kwanzaa full of love, Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year.
Regardless of your tradition, make it memorable because, in the end, our memories are all we get to take with us.
Peace and Love