The Quietest Christmas Ever in my Life….what did I witness?
I’m the youngest of seven children born within 10 years. The words peaceful, stillness, quiet have never been synonymous of the word Christmas in my over half a century existence. It wasn’t Until 2020 that I navigated my first Christmas ever not seeing my children in person, and neither hosting or attending my big family Christmas Day celebration.
What did I witness and learn?
The anticipation and projection of how sad I would be on Christmas was far greater than the reality of “how” I felt on Christmas Eve and day. The weight of the anticipated sadness almost persuaded me to not put up a tree or pull out the Christmas decorations. Why? because my sad voice said, “No one will be here to see it.” “Why make the effort?’ “What does it matter?” My spirit came through and said, “you will see it, you will appreciate it, Randy, your hubby, will appreciate it.” The reality, was decorating my tree brought me joy, allowing my mind to reflect on the past and savor the memories that different ornaments ignited. The lights on my tree bring me great joy in the early morning darkness on these Winter days.
The lesson: take action by asking your heart what will make it happy?
I witnessed how I kept wondering if my girls were going to surprise me and show up at my door on Christmas Eve, even though I knew the reality of the situation. One was in CO and one was in FL, I spoke to both of them Christmas Eve morning and knew this dream of them surprising me was not part of the plan. However my childlike wonder continued throughout the day. It made me reflect on the childlike wonder of Christmas morning and the anticipation of that one gift that you really have been wishing for. I will continue to nurture my wish for a time when both of our adult children, my husband and myself will be together.
I witnessed the joy I was able to share with some family members who were completely alone on Christmas through my simple presence of being present with them on Christmas Eve. This was done in a variety of ways, in person, telephone, e-mail. The method (in person or through a screen) was not important it was the intention of my heart to connect and be with the person right where they were. I witnessed a Christmas miracle of one family member making a dream come true for another family member with no strings attached.
I witnessed how I brought myself joy and silliness through the simple act of wearing my elf ears in public. I wore them to the post office, grocery store, my work, doctor’s appointments, I wore them all day. I would forget that I had them on until I would catch a reflection of myself in a mirror and giggle. This was a personal practice to not care what anyone thought of me and to spread joy and silliness during the magical season where we can believe in miracles (I don’t need a season, I witness miracles often).
I witnessed the feeling of being connected with my immediate family of four on Christmas Eve, via Zoom and my heart was full. I felt the shared love and our traditions continued even in different locations. The home is where the heart is, and I felt like I had my children with me in my heart and that was enough. I felt completely content. However I also became aware of how quickly that content feeling could slip away when I looked on FB and noticed friends who were able to have their adult children with them and it made me feel disappointed again. When I became aware of this I made a choice to step away from FB.
I witnessed and experienced a Christmas morning/day where I did not have any responsibilities or time commitments of hosting a big party or getting ready to attend my big family party. It allowed me to have a very childlike magical Christmas. I opened my gifts and had time to play and be. I had a quiet Christmas, I sunk into stillness, I stayed in my PJ’s all day. I didn’t miss the crazy family party, I didn’t miss the chaos and the noise, I recognize that I’m an introvert. I was grateful that I had my husband to celebrate with. My compassion for others who spent the day completely alone was heightened.
I witnessed another living example of the universal principle of “what I focus on expands.” I allowed the sadness and disappointment to be felt, and I focused on the connections that I created with an intention of presence and joy. I also witnessed contrast between the qualities of Christmas day past of navigating the day with: chaos, crazy family, feeling rushed and overwhelmed VS. being still, quiet, playing, and simply witnessing what is…..
We have a choice each day to be present with what is or be filled with thoughts based in the future or past and notice how they can shadow the perspective of what is right here and right now.
My New Years wish is to continue to practice presence with myself and you. Happy New Year!
Sending you Love & Light, Susie Raymond Catalyst Life Coach, Reiki Master/Teacher, Esthetician, Emotional Empowerment™ and Clear Inner Focus™ Coach