Christmas is my kind of holiday. I have always loved Christmas. But who hasn’t? I guess it’s more appropriate to say, I am passionate about Christmas. I love the Christmas story – the basis for my faith, I love our Michigan Christmases which are usually white, I love time with family, I love wrapping gifts – though my wrapping skills pale in comparison to Matt’s, and I love working… wait.
Let’s back up. I started my career in retail as a happy accident. My first year, I was appalled at the length of the season (I was so over Christmas by the time it came), the overindulgence of gift buying and consumerism, the mean spirited-ness of busy shoppers, and loss of the true meaning of Christmas.
I felt like Charlie Brown. “Isn’t there anyone who can tell me what Christmas is all about?!” He shouts it with desperation, with anxiety, with intensity. He feels like Christmas has slipped out of reach.
But last year in my work life, things were different. I chose to see the joy in each work day, knowing that somehow, someday I could and would make someone’s holiday different. Exceptional. Amazing. I might find the perfect toy for a new baby, new jammies for an adopted family, the perfect gadget for that hard-to-shop for person, maybe with a smile and a quick conversation, I could make someone’s day. Maybe I could help create an experience for our guests that would make their holiday brighter, more cheerful. Now that’s my kind of holiday.
Inevitably, we will all experience the stress and frustrations that the holidays can bring but I know that Christmas is about so much more than shopping – which is sometimes difficult to understand or see working in retail.
Cameron has changed my life in many ways and Christmas is no exception. As I sit here, he is peacefully sleeping in his swing, my Pandora is set to my lullaby Christmas station, (our first) snow is whipping around the yard, dusting my evergreens with the most beautiful powdered sugar coating and I am savoring a peppermint mocha, I picked up on my way out of “the office”.
In my line of work, Christmas comes early – we all know that somehow Christmas comes earlier and earlier, year after year but this year I realized that, that just means we get to enjoy the season that much longer. And with a baby who seems to grow and change at every blink of my eye, I will capture the longevity of the season.
Why not take a little more time to enjoy time with family, gazing at the swirling snow, warming up by the fireplace, listening to Christmas carols, reflecting on the gift that Christmas is. Why not put our babies in funny Santa hats and Christmas jammies and snuggle them throughout November and December? Why not enjoy the peace that Christmas brings a little longer? Why not sip our peppermint mochas a little more frequently and perhaps start our holiday movie viewings a little early? Why not get out the Christmas towels, read the Christmas books and maybe dig into some Christmas cookies?
Why not? What’s not to love about Christmas? They very first Christmas changed a lot of lives right? And I think it’s safe to say, that if we take the time to enjoy the Christmas season which exists long before the music starts playing and the wreaths go up and exists long after the tree is on the curb and the lights are down – Christmas might just change us too. Now, that is my kind of holiday.