I actually really like Christmas.
I always have, but the reasons have changed over the years.
When I was a kid, Christmas was magical. I grew up in a small town in the mountains with parents who loved me, so there was all sorts of snow and Santa Claus and community events. My parents always made sure I was surrounded by people who cared about me, and this was never more apparent than Christmas.
For real, I’ve tried to tell y’all that I had no business turning out the way I did. My childhood was really good.
When I got older, Christmas became about getting stuff and going skiing with my friends from Texas
We moved away from the mountains when I was 12 or so and would visit during the holidays. My mom always made sure to get us some cool stuff, like a VHS movie we’d enjoyed or a video game we wanted. I had already turned into an asshole by this point, but Christmas was a cool time.
I wish I had spent more of it with my family.
In my mid to late 20’s Christmas represented uninterrupted time alone.
I would work a 16-24 hour shift on Christmas Day at the hotel, which bought me as much time off as I wanted. I would take Tyler to go see family in Central or East Texas, and I enjoyed that, but then I would come back to Lubbock and spend 4 or 5 days in my house, by myself. I really enjoyed this time without obligations or people, but how much I isolated myself was not healthy.
I am not sure when I got to a place of struggling to be around people, but it took me quite a while to break myself of it.
Which brings me to this Christmas.
I just spent a week in the same mountains I grew up in. I was with my wife and 2-year-old (I refuse to use months. Ooh, look at me, I’m 460 months old now). The only time I had alone was the few hours I spent snowshoeing, and even then not so much because I met some people up in the mountains.
Today, after spending some more time with family, including my in-laws who I am fortunate to really love, my 15-year-old and I are going to drive to Central Texas and see my parents and brother and whoever else may be there. By the time we get back, my sister and brother-in-law and their three boys will be here. I am looking forward to seeing them.
To round this week out I will see some clients and catch up with some people who are in town for the holidays, and then it will be time to get back into the weekly swing of seeing people every single day.
In short, there has been almost no down time or alone time this Christmas, and I could not be happier. I have enjoyed all of it, and it may be the best Christmas I have ever had. It has been about people, and I think this is how it is supposed to be.
It’s almost as if not being selfish has made Christmas magical again.
No matter where or who we are, we can put what we want on a shelf and offer our time to others. I find I am always rewarded for this in ways I did not expect.
Merry Christmas, I hope you enjoy the day no matter how you spend it.
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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