By Sylvia Cope
I was watching the Today show with Martin’s dad and since it’s the Christmas season, there were endless ads and segments about finding the perfect gift and beautifully decorating your home and trying not to be overwhelmed by the demands of the fast-approaching Christmas Day. I observed to Dad that there is no need for the huge number of things people are pressured into doing because the true “reason for the season” is the birth of Jesus and that is a glad celebration that we can keep within our hearts and by being kind and loving to everybody… that, in fact, the only reason people even think about gift giving in relation to Jesus’ birth is because the three wise men brought him presents. So, okay, in that spirit we can give gifts that we can afford to the children we love, and perhaps even give to other people’s children if their parents cannot afford to. Beyond that, just let go of your stress and guilt and free yourself to let the true spirit of Christmas enter your heart and mind!
In a similar way I was musing on what’s truly important about loving someone. I have the luxury of being able to lie in bed, talking and cuddling with Martin, sometimes (gasp) even in the middle of the afternoon… and I’ve realized this is the very essence of what I want from a loving relationship, not riches, not jewelry, not fabulous vacations or anything else, simply the sublime happiness of spending quiet, affectionate time with the one person in the world you love the very most. No matter what the ads say, a kiss doesn’t have to begin with Kay.
In a similar vein, I had steak the other night for dinner and it was… okay… just okay. Today I had boiled chicken and broth with steel cut oats, salt and pepper, and, honestly, I enjoyed it much more than the steak. In case you haven’t figured it out, what I’m advocating to you is simplicity and appreciation in all realms of life, whether it’s how to celebrate Christmas, how to express love, how to nourish yourself. If you have allowed yourself to be persuaded by commercials and movies to never feel that your life is quite good enough, quite what it should be… then I beg you to open yourself to the possibility that chasing that belief will make you very unhappy… and is only meant to put money in someone else’s pocket… and take it out of yours.
With a heart full of love and happiness, I wish you and yours a wonderful and meaningful Christmas and any other seasonal holiday that you care to celebrate!