This Feeling…

Christmas day is past. New Years has been celebrated. It was a rush. It was a good/normal Christmas. Family got on each others nerves, but we had a blast doing it. One thing was missing. Yes we celebrated the birth of Christ. One of my favorite traditions is when my dad reads the Christmas story to us all before we open gifts. I can probably quote it, but it never gets old. However, one thing was missing. Its a hard thing to explain. Everyone celebrates it differently. This year it just didn’t feel like Christmas. I guess you could say the magic feeling wasn’t there. I was focused on the wrong things. I was sad that my daughter didn’t get as many gifts as her cousins. It took a six year old to remind me that it wasn’t about that. When I asked if she was ok that her cousins were opening more gifts than she was, she says in a wisdom past her age, “Daddy, my gift was special to me, and I know it cost a lot of money. I am happy with what I got.” She clearly takes after her mom.
But I think with this last year I have had, with the questions about my own faith, church and myself I even lost the joy you get with Christmas. Not just the stress of money, but the joy over all. Until yesterday.
We are at a cabin, away from the world. We are having Christmas with my wife’s family a little late. Everyone was doing something. Playing games, watching tv or just catching up. I have an obsession with Christmas trees. I think they all tell a story. Rather the decorator means for it to or not. Years written on ornaments, pictures, funny ones little kids that are now adults have made. I look at trees and their detail. I was sitting on the couch, looking at the tree, just soaking it in. It was the typical Christmas scene. Huge window behind me with trees covered with snow, huge decorated tree, and flannel blanket keeping me warm. I sat there for about ten minutes completely alone. Yes the house was full but I felt like I was alone. Not in a lonely way, but peaceful. I just sat and looked at the tree and prayed in my head, just a few more minutes. Let me feel this way a few more minutes. No stress, no depression, just contentment and thankfulness for my life, family and this moment. It was a pure feeling. I liked it.
My 5 year old came and crawled on my lap and wanted me to play with her, so my focus was changed. But it was a good thing. Nice to be reminded from time to time that its not always about you, and that the busyness of life will pass. Even if just for ten minutes, its what this fella needed.

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