What does Christmas mean to you?

Christmas Wrap-up

It’s Christmas Eve. We’re coming toward the end of 2017 in a bit of a rush.

Grade 6 graduation for Sam, a new job for me, a birthday ending with a ‘0’ for Al, a swirling of end of year activities and focus for Phoebe – and that’s just been in a bit over a week.

This year has felt particularly full (with the exception of those wonderful weeks between jobs in November), and we’ve moved from one activity to another without fully thinking where we are heading.

I usually spend some time leading up to Christmas reflecting on the year that’s been, focusing on what Christmas means to us, and becoming swept up in the Christmas festivities. I inflict delight friends and family with a family reflection, peppered with anecdotes, political / social observations, oh, and some family news. And then it’s tempered with Al’s adjustments of the facts. It’s as wonderful (yes, truly!) as it sounds.

I’m sure everyone who receives our letter loves it (well, they tell me they do, even if they can’t quite look me in the eye). I know those who normally  receive it will be devastated by the fact that, this year, I’ve run out of steam.

The lead up to Christmas has been a bit buried in too many other things. We’ve had lovely catch ups with many people, but not as much writing. Frankly, there’s been so much written on so many things – positive and negative – that I feel swamped by views and (not by me) that I’m out of words. I’m sorry.

But maybe Christmas – and New Year – is not about lots of words. Maybe, instead, it’s about relationships?? After all, for those who are Christians, it began with the birth of a baby (and the difficulty of a young woman finding out unexpectedly she was having a baby and then having to ride a donkey – we think – for four days when she was about to give birth, which when you think about it can’t have been much fun, plus the often ignored husband, Joseph, and all the others who were involved before or after the birth).

And for those who are not Christians but still celebrate Christmas, this time of the year is often about relationships, in particular, family. The emotions swirling around this time can range from happiness or stress, as the time can be overwhelming, lovely and enjoyable, or lonely. In all cases, it’s about our interaction with others. It’s not – at core – about getting ALL THE THINGS DONE.

So, although I haven’t managed the letter, I have stopped and paused. And I’ve come up with a poem instead. Yes, it’s a little (very?) cheesy (and maybe doesn’t scan), but I hope it’s a nice reminder about what Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas!

Tis the afternoon 'fore Christmas
And throughout our home
So much action is happening
No creature dares roam.

Our dog is in hiding
(we've tripped over her too much)
We are trying to finish, by today
all prep for Christmas lunch.

Then I pause and reflect
for of course, Christmas is more
than a focus on 'getting though'
acts which end up as a chore.

Instead it provides us a time
not to focus on gifts
though nice, are means to show others we care
in the rush, my focus I shift 

And I view what's important
Friends, family - old and new
Where we've grown and regressed
What to change, what to renew.

I reflect too, about
A child's birth long ago
And the life that was given
So true love we can know.

So, instead of a roll call
of achievements this year
my thought shift from milestones,  
and from things to those dear.

From my family and friends
to those I've not met 
to those struggling this year
Without hope but regret.

And in thinking about the years
Gone and to come
I'll still reach out towards others
with my shyness I'll shun

Still continuing self trust, 
my word for the year
add to this more compassion,
helping those close and near.
And of course, being open 
to trying more fun
overcoming my hesitation for
life's a gift that we all have won. 

These thoughts flowed through my mind
so to collect them, I write
to share our love to you,
and our wish to all - a good night! 


What does Christmas mean to you?


4 thoughts on “What does Christmas mean to you?

    1. Somehow I missed commenting – but yes, I agree, Amy. It’s been great getting to know you better too, and the weekend in Sydney was lots of fun. We should all do something similar this year!


    1. Thanks so much, Erica (and apologies for the delay). I hope your Christmas was lovely and you’re still carrying a bit of that family spirit through January.


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