Tis a Gift to Be Simple

This Christmas is panning out differently than some others. “Self care” has come to mind a few times in trying to justify my feelings

Expectation is the best part of Christmas. The sense of magic that just hangs in the air. Expectation is also the downfall of so many Christmases. You’re supposed to be so happy and having so much fun and it’s a let down when that is absent.

I haven’t done much or felt much enthusiasm for Christmas the past few years. I decorate my apartment and wear the Christmas socks and wait for summer. “There’s no kids in the family so it’s not that exciting” has been my excuse.

I realized this year–as I was giving myself permission to skip an event with and old friend and 8 other couples–that not having kids gives me the opportunity to experience Christmas the way I want. I’ve been slow in getting my decorations up but that’s ok. I’m not really going to any parties or seeing any lights. Yet I’ve noticed what I have done is give to charity after charity and pick up present requests every time I see one. I’ve thought about all the services out there that give me moments of pleasure and I supported them. I stood in line to get a little present for a friend who I never get presents for because I knew she’d love this gift. I’ve bought 5 XXL Christmas-tree-scented candles since sitting in the dark with Christmas lights and a candle is my absolute favorite thing to do.

I’ve also been able to revel in other people’s gift giving and celebrating, basking in those moments. Watching others participate in Secret Santa is especially fun. The excitement over receiving surprises is only surpassed by the joy of picking out gifts for others. Yes, it contributes to the commercialism but a price limit and a surprise speaks much more to the spirit of Christmas, of excitement over making someone else happy voluntarily.

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