Through Advent and into the Christmas season. Gifts have been given, and presents received. We lit all the candles, set up the nativity scenes, trees, and lights. Santa visited and we celebrated Jesus's birth with rejoicing. The kids are excited, and most adults, but why do some of us feel something missing? Why can't we muster the Christmas spirit?
Maybe the reason why is less important than realizing that Christmas spirit must be mustered. For many, especially children, this can be very easy. It seems to come naturally. But I have come to realize that sometimes the joyful feeling of Christmas does not just come automatically. Here I am, at the beginning of my adult life, and suddenly I didn't feel as excited about Christmas. Suddenly something was missing, though I had gone through all the steps. As soon as I put my finger on it, I realized that I went through all the work of preparing for the physical aspects of Christmas, decorating, presents and cards, and finally visiting family, but I had not worked on the spiritual.
Sometimes, Christmas spirit is not right there waiting. For me, it was because my heart was not ready for the spirit, because I needed to work for it and prepare myself. Christmas is not just about the physical things, people say that all the time but I usually figured they were just talking about remembering Jesus's coming. But it also means remembering joy, peace, and love. It means enjoying time alone amongst the bustle, and enjoying time with friends and family too. It means actively seeking the spirit of Christmas in whatever way works best for each person. For me, I needed to slow down a little and step out of the bustle of life a bit. Doing some crafts, drawing some pictures, and writing out my feelings helped. Next year I will remember to seek my Christmas spirit sooner, during Advent's time of preparing set aside for just such things.
Here is another doodle for you to enjoy, one that brought me peace as I drew it on a family car trip.
The Christmas spirit that many take for granted is important to remember, to work at not only in December but throughout the year. It is a process that may be slow and difficult, but forgetting to take the effort can leave a person feeling in good company with the Grinch and Mr. Scrooge.