The spirit of Christmas

I think I found the spirit of Christmas this morning.

I've been so wrapped up in my own stuff, and the real spirit of Christmas is about letting go of my own stuff for just a while...not focusing on me or how I feel, but rather focusing on other people, just for a season. Picking people that are special to me and giving them the gift of focusing on them for a season. Focusing on giving them the best time I can offer; the best gift, the best meal, the most peaceful day.

I mean, that's the focus of all those holiday movies we weep over every year, right? And, me? I've been selfish and wallowing in my hurt feelings and missing out on all the really cool stuff that's happening.

Stuff like watching Sydney come up with gifts for Rob. Not hand prints or finger painting, or pages out of coloring books or popsicle stick ashtrays, not that there's anything wrong with those gifts except that she's outgrown the giving of them. But, she's really focused on giving something of herself and thinking about who Rob is and what he would like. And, knowing she's doing the same thing for me.

And, knowing that I'm doing the same thing for her.

And, knowing that whatever gift I give, it's not nearly as important as the time I spent thinking about the recipient. And, knowing that Rob and Sydney will look past whatever I give them and see the caring that lies behind it. Even when Sydney opens that box of underwear. She'll know that I was thinking about her looking like a teenager in the locker room and won't care that you can't spend Christmas day playing with underwear.

That's the meaning of Christmas. It's time, not money. It's thinking about someone, not rushing to get them whatever it takes to keep the gift giving accounts in balance.

What better gift can I give than to think about someone during the holidays. And, then letting them know I thought about them during the holidays. That's all it takes to make me happy.



Quiltluver said...

I think you've got it! Sydney is a lucky girl, and it sounds like you've both done a good job for her to be such a caring person.

Becky said...

You go, buddy!!!! You are more than right. Have a great weekend!

lw said...

Nothing said, "I love you" to my teenagers like pretty underwear-- that locker room is a tough environment. I'm so glad you thought of that, most parents wouldn't have.

Elizabeth said...

I'm a little late coming to the party this year too. I've been so wrapped up in where to find the money for the gifts and the huge amount of time I'm going to have to invest in making almost everything (using things I already have on hand) to make up for a lack of funds that I've been really feeling sorry for myself knowing that I'm going to be burned out and stressed and not have any time to enjoy the season because I'll be chained to my machine. I've really had a bah humbug attitude over the t whole thing. But I love Christmas and I love giving and I've finally joined the party and decided that it will so be worth it if I just give my best and quit worrying about myself. It is good to be 'back.'

Also, you are an awesome dad. Sydney is a really lucky girl.

xo -El

P.S. Santa always puts underwear in the stockings at our house because the stockings are just so darn big and underwear fills them up nicely (and inexpensively).

Shay said...

Loved this post. I think it's all too easy to forget the meaning of Christmas in all the rushing around and pressure.(most of which we create in my opinion) Thanks for the reminder.

Pauline said...

Frequently it's hard to find the spirit of Christmas because it has become so commercial. Pressure to buy, buy, buy. and give, give, give then feel quilty when you can't or don't meet what you percieve as the expectations of others. Giving from the heart all year long instead of being caught up in the commercial hype is more satisfying to us.