For those who didn’t hear, my family is cursed. Decembers just don’t agree with us, and it seems writing about it has only angered the curse. This Christmas eve, I came down with a nasty, nasty sinus cold/fever which put me out until…well, I’m starting to feel better now, the day after Christmas. So instead of going to see extended family on Christmas day as planned, my wonderful family stuck it out at home with me. They’re absolutely fantastic–I can’t say that enough.
And while it was a big disappointment, you know what? It wasn’t all that bad–aside from the feeling sick part, of course. In a way, staying in and keeping it simple had its advantages. For one, it was fun watching my two-and-a-half-year-old open presents and then try to figure out what the heck each present was once he had a chance to play with it. It was equally entertaining watching my six-month-old take more interest in the wrapping paper, bows and tags than the actual presents. And watching my wife try to overdramatize the excitement in order to steer these two rug rats into understanding what they ought to be excited about was also great.
The stay-at-home Christmas gave me time to reflect as well–that is, between feverish daydreams of talking pandas in my living room. It allowed me to reflect on what the day really means. And heck, it really isn’t about the presents. Who knew? The day has a religious significance for me, being raised Catholic. However, for those who aren’t religious, the day should still mean more than simply the lusts of materialism.
It’s a day of empathy, a day of giving…but that’s only a small bit of it.
Some don’t celebrate Christmas, and that’s perfectly OK. However, the reason this holiday and others like it are so significant is that they force us to take time out of our busy lives and reflect on our fellow man and woman and child. This day is a reminder to act out that empathy all the other 364 days of the year. Of course, even when we are supposed to take a break to remember this very important point, we’re often still to busy.
So take a breath…
…and just think about it.
Merry Post Christmas. Hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I sincerely hope you had a warm and loving Wednesday.
Now, I’m off to shoo a talking panda out of the kitchen.