By Lance McCarthy
***Warning*** This little piece will have almost nothing to do with construction or houses. I’m sorry, I think the eggnog got the best of me.
Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. There is something tricky about it though. This season can easily become MORE of everything we DON’T like. More busy. More places to go. More family tension. More calories. More stuff. I can easily find myself celebrating something that does not bring me joy.
But I think the secret of Christmas has nothing to do with MORE. It is something simpler. Quieter. Easy to miss, but worth looking for.
Let me give you an example. My family had one of our many Christmases on Saturday (we have a lot of Christmases every year. Long story. Ask me about it sometime). There were more kids than adults, and the kids were going crazy. Like crazy-Christmas-kids-in-the-movies crazy. The room was full of motion and noise. Wrapping paper flying all over, you know the drill. I was sitting there and realized that I was just worrying, but wasn’t actually enjoying. So I sat back, took a breath, and just watched my loving but extremely dysfunctional family (sorry guys) do Christmas. And I felt this soft feeling of peace. Wrapping paper still flying, mind you, but peace all the same. It was pretty nice if you’re into that sort of thing.
The next few days will be hectic. There will probably be an awkward conversation with an uncle where you will have to take a stand as either pro- or anti-Trump. You will probably receive a really horrible gift from a well meaning person. You will probably GIVE a horrible gift (well meant, of course). You will worry about a lot. You will certainly eat too much and you will get tired of being in line at Target.
But somewhere in there, remember that this season has an incredible gift that most people will miss. A gift that requires a breath, a moment, and your mind.
It is Peace, Love and Joy.
But it can easily be lost behind all the presents under the tree. Lost along the road as you are rushing to the next party. Lost in the noise of the day.
Your house can provide the antidote though: After everyone has gone to bed, or before everyone gets up, turn off all the lights but the ones on the Christmas tree, then crawl under, lay down on your back and look up. No phone, no music, just you and the lights. And wait. You’ll feel it.
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