The spirit of Christmas can't be bought

I love holidays! I always have. I love to go all out and put extra love into each special occasion. And this year was no different. The only difference was our Christmas items had been in storage because we were traveling for the last two Christmases and therefore, it was time to dig them out and I was so glad we did. Everything needed to be washed and freshened up, but luckily, there was very little damage (I actually did more damage storing the things I put away to make room for the Christmas items! Lesson learned).

As we decorated the house, I felt so much joy. We played beautiful Christmas music, and relived each memory of where we bought every ornament. Since we travel a lot and have lived in many different countries, our Christmas tree is like a walk down memory lane. We remember each place we visited in our travels, the old friends or family we visited, and the good times we had. It’s one of my favorite parts of decorating is putting up the tree (taking down the tree is another story).

Since we were not traveling to see family this year, I knew it was going to be a quieter Christmas than the last few years, but I embraced it. I knew of others who were alone, and I reached out to them. It wasn’t easy convincing my friend who had just gone through a hard breakup to join us for Christmas Eve, as he just wasn’t in the Christmas spirit, but I finally convinced him it would be good for him to not be alone on Christmas Eve. He agreed and decided to join us.

On Christmas Eve, we went to a beautiful celebration at our local place of worship. When we walked in, I couldn’t believe how packed it was. There were almost 4,000 people! It felt so magical and special, and at the end, we were each given a candle to light and then told to pass on the flame. It was very moving to see so many people holding up their white candle and singing Christmas hymns. We were so grateful to be there celebrating this special moment and the joy that is the love of a higher power.

At the end, my friend told me how grateful he was I reached out to him. He said he had really been depressed and truly didn’t want to go out, but that being with us and everyone else really lifted his spirits.

I have always known this is what Christmas is all about. We make a choice when we are alone. Do we sit home and think about ourselves, or do we go out and do something wonderful for someone else? Whenever you have to make that choice, choose the latter.

The one person I decided to splurge on gift-wise this year was my “Little” from Big Sisters. I went all out at the craft store purchasing things we could use to make a scrapbook of our memories. She loved it, and the look on her face when she opened her gift was so worth it.

I hope you all felt the same love we felt that Christmas Eve evening, and that if you didn’t, you promise yourself that next Christmas, you will ensure someone else does.