Our family has never been super religious with Christmas. Growing up we were always spoiled with gifts. And honestly, as parents we went all out for the first couple of years with our oldest. We weren’t gluttons or anything, but our focus was maybe just a little bit off. But this year, the meaning for christmas is different.
I really went through a big change this past year. Call it a quarter-life-crisis maybe, but whatever it was, I grew up. I’ve been married over seven years, have a mortgage, two car payments and three kids; surely you’d have thought I grew up a long time ago. Yes, in many ways I did, but this year, I really grew up.
Two years ago I celebrated Thanksgiving alone in a hospital bed with only my unborn twins to share the evening with. By Christmas, they were born and a few weeks into their NICU stay. With it being cold/flu/RSV season, my oldest daughter couldn’t visit the NICU so instead I was stuck choosing between my daughters. If I visited the two in the NICU, I had to leave the other with a babysitter. If I stayed with the oldest, the two in the NICU had no one but strange nurses. It was absolutely the worst Christmas I’d ever had.
A New Meaning For Christmas
I never want another Christmas to feel that way. I never want to feel so broken. Christmas isn’t about the gifts or food or lights or decorations or wrapping paper or anything else anymore. Christmas is about family. You never know when your last day with each and every one of your loved ones is going to be. So in my growing up, I stopped judging. I stopped caring about the material things. And I started to just accept the people I love and truly just love them.
In addition to love and family, this Christmas season I’ve put a lot of heart and soul into donating, fundraising, helping charities and just giving. I’ve stopped taking every second for granted and really started to be grateful for the things I have. I used to feel such jealousy for what everyone else had, desperately wondering what I’ve done wrong. But I haven’t done everything wrong. The possessions we have are what we worked for. And I appreciate the hard work my husband does and the opportunities for extra income I have because these things make it possible to live our lives. These things aren’t what make our house our home, they are simply things. It’s us, the people inside working together, leaning on one another and sharing the love and joy of each day’s experiences that make it our home.
So this Christmas season, give a new meaning for Christmas. Give back to your community and love your family first. The rest can wait.
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