If I were being completely honest, the last time I felt pure, unexplainable joy during the Holidays was probably a year that I still believed in Santa and purchased my family’s gifts from my Elementary School’s make-shift Dollar Store.
As enjoyable as Christmas with my ever-growing family can be, pure joy has not been on the menu for some time.
Warm hugs, yes.
Fireside chats, yes.
Food that warms your soul, yes.
Great friends, yes…
But PURE JOY, not so easy to come by.
But this year was different:
This year I finished my shopping on Christmas Eve at 3pm. This year I only sent 25% of our Christmas Cards. This year I invited my family into a dirty house. This year I ‘bagged’ 90% of the gifts. This year I doubled the flour in TWO apple pies… Oops. This year the apple pies were disgusting. This year I wore my hair in a pony-tail. But this year…. was full of pure, pure JOY.
My husband asked me if I had smoked pot before this year’s family gatherings…
My mom joked that I had consumed a cup of Christmas ‘cheer’…
No, I didn’t smoke anything. And Yes, I was completely sober…
So what was different?
I experienced the joy of Christmas through the eyes of another. My younger, wiser, 9 month old son.
This year his laughter filled all the voids.
He cackled as he saw his reflection wearing an elf outfit. He cooed as he tried new foods for the first time. He babbled while his Grandad prayed. He sang aloud during the Candlelight Service. He found hilarity in cardboard boxes, wooden spoons, and ceiling fans. He clapped when he was happy. He slept when I was tired… He made me realize that everything I was doing for the holidays, and even for others, paled in comparison to the pure joy that laughter, relationships, and love can bring.
His joy set an example of peace and simplicity, and for that, I am so very thankful.
I enjoyed snuggles instead of pies, hugs instead of presents, and laughter instead of stress. And what a magical Christmas it was.
Merry Christmas friends and family. I hope you have a wonderful New Year full of laughter, love, and PURE JOY.