I’m one of those people who grew up obsessed with Christmas, your thinking to yourself, ya you and everyone else. But, for me it was an absolutely magical time, jingle bells, ho ho ho, mistle toe, tinsel, glitter, Santa Clause, snowmen, jack frost, the Nutcracker, Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown Christmas, who doesn’t love Charlie Brown Christmas! What is it about this time of year that can seem to fill so many with so much delight?
However, the last couple of Christmases have been a challenge for me, the things that used to bring so much joy, seem trite, repetitive, and leave me overall just feeling a little empty. As, I’m fighting people for parking spots at Kenwood mall and throwing elbows at the church Christmas show for seats; I can’t help but think how nutty it all is. Why are we putting ourselves through all of this, for what purpose?
Having lost my mother not to long ago, this time of year has not been quite the same for me. What I wouldn’t give to curl up into her shoulder with a cup of hot coco, and laugh together at Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation. It was her warmth, generous spirit, and caring soul that helped make the holidays so special to me, not all of stuff. Although, there was always plenty of glitter, tinsel, and lights on the tree to outshine the one in Rockefeller Center.
As I watch parents with their children walking the busy city streets, I’m reminded of my own happy childhood spent building snowmen, decorating the tree, and making cookies for ‘Santa’. Every year ‘Santa’ just ate enough of each cookie so that there was at least one bite left. Even into high school, though we knew ‘Santa’ was actually my dad, we still made the cookies, and he still left a little bit on the plate to keep up the illusion that someone else had been there the night before.
These wonderful memories warm my heart and help me remember what’s actually important in the midst of all the chaos. Those tiny moments of complete contentment, tenderness, and solace with the ones you love the most. I’m inspired by the memory of my mother to give more this holiday season, not more things, but more of all that she instilled in me. Grace, joy, hope, and love.
Dominique Brown is the Service & Justice Coordinator in the CFJ. She is well aware that she mentioned both Christmas Vacation and hot chocolate in her post from last year, but believes that it’s simply a testament to how important these components are to an enjoyable Christmas. This post is dedicated to the loving memory of Sadie M. Brown who lived a life dedicated to her friendships, her family, and her God.