The holy days! I think about the enthusiasm, that “feeling” in the air, the excitement of those special moments, and time of reflection. Can’t we make all 365 days like this?
I remember as a child, when my parents were going through a particularly difficult financial time, and there was going to be a very light Christmas and Eve dinner. The dinner is a typical celebration in my country, at midnight, with turkey and sweet potatoes, exquisite dry fruits, hot chocolate, and desserts. This night, there was no “wish-list” and a single present for each. All of us kids, the 7 of us, or the ones still at home, knew this already. Somehow, my mother was able to make this Christmas exciting.
My mom hung little notes with clues on the plastic Christmas Tree. This tree is the one we packaged, reopened, and decorated every year since I remember, and still lives. At midnight, we found clues that took us all over the house, looking for further clues, and then the next. I do not know how my mom was able to hide these. Took thoughtfulness, preparation, intention. The one last note, which brought just the enthusiasm to the highest point, led us each to the one present we received. I remember it. It was a very generic plastic, neon green rattling gun (and you probably guess how much I like guns!), that sparkled some bright light when the trigger was pressed. I still remember this. This was after midnight dinner, with some dried fruits, typical Panetón, and hot chocolate, after prayer.
There was something special about this night, maybe because of lack of abundance, this night was not about the presents, or the material expressions. It was about the intentions, the pausing, the moment of silence to think about life, in spiritual terms. It was focusing on others, who may have a less, or may be suffering. It was about wishing for something to be different, more peaceful. It was about thinking of others, in a loving way.
The same intention, after all these years, still remains, however, just slightly different. From all the years and teachings from my teacher, from the experience of life, I think of Christmas as a time of reflection. I look around and see the struggle that I go through to “get things”, expectation to give presents to others. Yes, the sentiment is beautiful, to think, and plan, and prepare something special for others. The feeling one gets from seeing another happy is amazing. And, then, I lose my focus on the “present”, the bigger the better!
I wish to think of making my days this special every day. What can I do to give of myself, to make an effort, to be able to have something I may offer others. Christmas is a beautiful day to remind me of the beauty of giving, without expecting anything in return. It is ultimately an expression of service towards others, knowing, that all we want is Love, to give and receive Love, in its most pure expression.
May these days, holy days, really become a constant reminder to spiritualize our lives, to provide more kindness, selfless service to others. It is in that Silent Night, when it is really clear that Divinity is more evidently present, simply because many more of us are thinking of Love. I hope we can all get the neon toy, with sparking lights, and are reminded of the intention.
May Divine Love fill our lives…daily.