I love Christmas. I always have. I love Christmas so much I used to celebrate it two times a year. And why not? There’s so much to love.
People are kinder. Family becomes more important. The daily whirl slows for a brief moment and there’s a touch of magic in the air. The world, as a whole, takes on a glow. In fact, the same street lights and shop signs I see illuminated all year appear to shine brighter, twinkle a bit more during the holiday season. For me, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.
This year, in particular, I find myself not just loving Christmas – but needing it.
The past few years have brought a lot of change for me. And while change is necessary and often good – it’s still hard. We all know this. It’s universal – evidenced by the thousands of variations on the quote – Change is never easy.
It isn’t. It takes away our security blanket – to leave us feeling vulnerable and a tad off-kilter. There are days we aren’t quite sure where we are or where we’re going. We only know we’re moving forward and the scenery keeps changing. At times it’s scary – other times exhilarating. Whatever it is, it’s temporary. And this perpetual change is exhausting.
The holidays offer me a reprieve. They bring me back to my center. They’re a reminder that while my world has changed, I have not.
As I hang ornaments on the tree, I rediscover pieces of me that will always be constant.
I will forever be the five-year-old who painted a god-awful pink ornament showcasing a photo of my lopsided self.
I’m the same Laura whose name my mother loving stitched on my stocking.
I’m that same ten-year-old with a unicorn obsession and a fondness for Cat in the Hat & Winnie the Pooh.
My teaching touched a life forever and I have the ornament to prove it.
I’m the one who played in the waves in Cancun and who forgot to wear sunscreen in Key West. There are people in the world who think my name is Lolita.
I will always be Clayton’s mom and forever feel the excitement of waking up Christmas morning to see what Santa left.
I still believe decorating five Christmas trees is not excessive and the only true way to count down to December 25 is with a felt Christmas tree calendar.
Yes, I will forever find beauty in all things Christmas.
None of that has changed.
And that is what I’ve needed. I needed reassurance that I’m still me.
Everything around me might be different. My daily world bears little semblance to what it once was. My inner circle has been completely reconstructed.
From the outside looking in – I appear to be leading a completely different life. Perhaps. But, it’s still me living this life. And all the thoughts, experiences and emotions that make me the person I am – are still there.
I still find happiness in the same everyday joys. I still laugh and tell the same corny jokes. I still love passionately. I still seek comfort in the same ways. I still have the same fears and insecurities. At the core, my heart and soul are still the same. The tradition of Christmas has reminded me of this.
Each year, millions of us celebrate the holidays. And each of our celebrations is an encapsulation of all Christmases past. It’s an encapsulation of who we are. Regardless of where we’ve been or where we’re going, we will continue to be uniquely us.
So this year, I’m not merely celebrating the holidays – I’m celebrating me and my ever-changing life.
It only took Google .29 seconds to produce 327 million results for the search inquiry ‘quotes about change’. One of my favorites is – Be the change you wish to see in the world. However, I would like to tweak it a bit. I would like it to say – Be the constant you wish to see in the world. As the world changes around you, embrace and hold constant the beauty and uniqueness of you.
The magic and beauty of the holidays is seasonal. It will fade. By mid-January, we will be back to the hubbub of daily life. My hope is each of us will take a brief moment to reflect and remember the magic and beauty of ourselves – to not make that seasonal. Let’s not wait until next December to appreciate this.
Whatever changes the new year brings, I hope you find many reasons to celebrate the constant of you.