How to truly appreciate Christmas

Dear Daughter,

In exactly 20 days, it’ll be Christmas Day. That seems like an eternity to you, but trust me, it’ll go by quickly. And it’s my hope that in the next 20 days, we will fully appreciate this season.

Christmas is special in that it’s celebrated not just on the one day but throughout the whole month. Yesterday we got our Christmas tree (a real one!) and came home and decorated it. Now our home feels all warm and cozy and festive, like it has purpose. We sang Christmas carols at church and probably will do the same every Sunday between now and the 25th. There are Christmas movies on TV, and our iPods are fully stocked with our favorite yuletide tunes. It’s so easy to get into the Christmas spirit, because it’s everywhere we look.

And yet, every year it flies by so quickly, and once it’s over, we have a tendency to think, “That’s it?” Each year’s Christmas memories blend into each other. Some of that is inevitable, a natural result of the passing of time. But it also happens because we adults run around like crazy during this time of year, more wrapped up in consumerism and our to-do lists than in the reason behind why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

I want to make a point this year to cherish every moment, feeling grateful not just for the gifts we’ll receive but also for the true beauty of the season as a whole. That means spending time in prayer, thanking Jesus for coming to this world in the first place. It means allowing the warm and fuzzies come over you when you hear your favorite Christmas song or when you see a beautiful Christmas tree. It means purposely spending more time with family than with anyone or anything else.

Daughter, let’s make the most of the next 20 days.

Love,
Mom

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