Basking in the early Colorado sun on Christmas morning, my family of four and I celebrate with a casual brunch and lots of lounging in slippers and sweatpants. The stereo plays our Christmas classics and we exchange gifts that meet our various hobby and adventure needs.
My grandparents and uncle are joining us this evening to celebrate my brothers Christmas Eve birthday. We’ll anticipate the large family gathering for another week.
Last night I sat under a cozy blanket surrounded by my dear family all reading and reveling in the quiet snowless winter night. This is what I look forward to every year at Christmas. I appreciate the Christ Centered awe that is inspired with music, lights and the giving spirit. The church functions and jolly activities that come with celebrating a pleasant mixture of secular and religious holiday traditions.
But ultimately I find this time of year draws me into a calm so very far removed from the holiday frenzy of our society. I think I jam more gratitude into this season than Thanksgiving could ever imagine.
- I am thankful for a family that loves me, challenges me, makes me laugh till I can’t breath and shows me that life is best when shared.
- I am thankful for the desire to give. To give love, to give gifts, to give my time, energy and knowledge, to give comfort and support.
- I am thankful for good health and a body I experience the gift of life through.
- I am thankful for hope and faith. For me this season blossoms from a religious tradition that starts with a humble birth of a human child. A visceral human experience that brings hope to a troubled world through faith in a loving God.
My Christmas experience cultivates a longing for connection and gratitude. We give thanks with those around us and search for a closeness to a God who became Immanuel– God with us.
Peace and Thanksgiving to you.
May you find warmth in the cold, and love in the company.