Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Spirit

This year I've had a really hard time getting into the spirit of things. I think a good part of that has to do with the kind of year we've had and the total lack of decorations for that matter. As you may have guessed, we lost all of that in the fire. Everything, except about a dozen or so ornaments. I had boxes and boxes of decorations. Stuff for each room of our apartment. Now it's all gone. While I know decorations shouldn't matter in the grand scheme of things, the sentimental (and material) side of me longs for those thing that used to fill my house with the spirit of the season. And replacing those things has become more of a task than I even care to get into right now.

Also, our finances really aren't where I'd like them to be right now. This year has truly been a struggle in that department and I must admit, that when your bank account looks the way mine does at the moment, Christmas becomes more of a burden than it should be. I try really hard to be upbeat about things because, after all, I know in the end everything will work out, and the kids will have plenty under the tree come Christmas day. But right now things are a bit tough.

However, tonight as I was looking through our Christmas fire remnants, and putting lights on the tree, I realized just how much I have to be thankful for. The list is too long to get into right now but you better believe I'm thankful for each and every one of them every single day. Even if it looks like I forget every now and again. This year, even with it's struggles, has taught me so much. Painful life lessons, yes, but lessons that have made me a stronger and more grown-up person. Yes, it's so easy to get down about how much we've lost and how much of a toll that horrible day put on this family. There is a flip side to that though. That fire allowed us to start over fresh. Almost like a rebirth (and who could ask for a more perfect day to have that happen than Easter) and I now know how to do things differently. For that I am grateful.

So, I've made a decision, no more Scrooge. This season isn't about how many gifts I get my children but instead about being grateful. Grateful for the miracles in life, but also grateful for the every day things that we tend to forget about. While I'm not a religious person, and truly hate the slogan "don't forget the reason for the season", I do believe that this is a season about love and family and togetherness. Not a season of greed, which is what it seems to have become. If there is one thing I hope sticks with my children when they're grown it's that. I think we've done a pretty good job thus far at making sure they don't get too greedy with their lists, or wants, but instead focus on the giving and loving side of things. Which is yet another reason to be grateful.