Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, to all!

All my Christmas shopping is done - the presents are all wrapped and either under our tree or en route to friends by priority mail, the Christmas cookies are baked and frosted (and sampled), the groceries are in the refrigerator for Christmas meals. As much as I feel triumphant, however, I also feel a bit sad. The preparations for Christmas, the anticipation of how my friends and family will enjoy their gifts - these are what I love best about the holidays, even more than Christmas morning itself and the fun of opening presents. I truly believe this is the season of giving.

I wish I could be a spirit in every household to which I sent gifts - I'd love to watch my friends' children (and my friends) open the presents I sent them. But the best I can do is send some of my spirit with the gifts, and be thankful that my friends are mostly writers, who will write to tell me how those small pieces of my love for them were received. Then I can vicariously share in their holiday joy from afar.

Spend as much of the holidays as you can with people you love. Christmas, more than Facebook or the internet, is about truly connecting with a larger community than your household. I believe we send gifts because we're reaching out to the people we care about, showing our love in boxes and gift bags. We do that many times during the year: on birthdays, at random moments when we just have the feeling a friend needs a lift. But this winter holiday season of Christmas is magical because nearly everyone reaches out to everyone else they know, and even to some people they don't know, through charity, to share that love, at the same time.

Enjoy the holidays. Eat too much and laugh too much and hug beyond your personal space comfort bubble. Let the world in and revel in it. That's my wish for everyone whose spirit I've touched this year, and other years, and for everyone whose spirit has touched me. Give of yourselves, to share this magical season, until your heart overflows.