It's Christmas time and part of me wants to wallow in the joy, music, and beauty of it all. The other part of me wants to hide until January 1st. This part of me is the part that I am trying to desperately to rid myself of.
I admire other people that seem to love the season without reservation. Stress and all. Maybe it's because we have 9 beautiful little people that I want to give a wonderful Christmas to. Toys, electronics and clothes are not cheap anymore...not that they ever were. But it seems to get more and more expensive every year. Or maybe it's just that we have a new person to buy for every year....I don't really know. The only thing I know is that it's hard to go shopping with limited funds and filter out the really expensive stuff and try to get things they will love without spending tons of money. Sadly enough, this is what Christmas has become for me.
In years past it was so much more for me. The music especially was so dear to my heart. When I was in college I was part of a music group called LDSingers. We travelled around Utah performing for different stakes and loving every minute of it. We were always invited to come and perform at the Festival of Trees and that was one of our favorite times of year. We would hop on busses, in our dresses and suits and drive all the way to Salt Lake (we went to Snow college) and spend the day downtown, roaming the malls, wandering around the Festival, admiring the lights, and even hit Temple Square for some quiet time with the Christus. We loved what we did and we seemed to bring joy to everyone when we would spontaneously stop and sing where ever we were. I was able to enjoy the beauty of Christmas without having to worry about the stress and money of it.
So I guess the question is how can I get that back? How can I get my kids to see the beauty in it without always focusing on the gifts? I want to pick an angel off the angel tree and let my kids buy gifts for some cute little boy or girl who would not get Christmas otherwise. But that involves money. But I am still keeping that one in mind. Another option is Temple Square and the lights, and Nativity. Cold though, and Skyler and Colby seem to be sick all the time, I am not sure whether or not they can handle being out in the cold at night. I always play Christmas music, which seems to help and we always put up lights and the tree not long after Thanksgiving. But I guess what I am really shooting for is to be able to teach them to feel Christmas with their hearts rather than with what's in their hands. Challenging....to say the least.
Someday the kids will be living on their own, having their own Christmases with their own families and I know I will even miss the more stressful parts. I guess for now I should just glean from the joy they feel during the season. Their faces are wonderful to see when they see the 100th house with lights up and they squeal like it's the first house they had seen. I should glean from the joy that is christmas morning and the looks on their faces when they come out and see the presents and stockings that they know is for them. Warm Christmas cookies, gifts from friends and a constant barrage of Christmas shows on tv that all remind them of what is coming.
Try to become as a little child. I have heard that since I was a little child. I always think I know what that means, and yet it seems I am learning more and more everyday what that truly means. This year it means that I need to not worry about the money and just love the holiday for what it is. Beauty, celebration of the Savior, and joy in my kids. The kind of joy you can see in the eyes of those that truly know how to feel unadulterated joy.