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The Real Meaning of a Merry Christmas

Updated on December 3, 2014
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Anan is an online blogger and private consultant since 2009 in the areas of relationships and interfaith spirituality.

One of our favorite pieces, piano.

Wishing and wanting

Like so many,last year, I had been praying like crazy for weeks so that Christmas would be special. Not in the material aspect of the holiday, but in the much needed spiritual sense. As a mother, I wanted to give my children a memorable day. I am glad to say that I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Is utterly amazing how God can answer our prayers in the most simple of ways. I was hoping for a family dinner and to spend time with my kids on Christmas Eve. Having teenagers, is a recipe for the unexpected. Even if you think that you know your children , there is always room for surprises. And boy I was knocked off my socks that day.

We are a typical American family that is going through a rough patch. I knew for months, that Christmas was going to be "thin", gift wise. So I made my kids gifts. I can be very crafty with my hands, so I made dream catchers for the three of them a month before. I thought they would like it, and put on layaway the boots my son wanted.

Two weeks before, an acquaintance gave me a food voucher for a Christmas dinner. As I went to pick up up the box of food, the lady asked me if I had any kids,because they were giving out toys for the little ones. I smiled and told her mine were teenagers, and not to worry. She took my hand and gave me a bag with thermals and sweaters. I was to say the least static and grateful for these strangers to take the time to help me put something under the tree. Still, my heart soared for I knew, that regardless of anything material we would received on Christmas, we were truly blessed.

The twenty fourth came, I spent most of the day at the doctor. As I left, one of my friends, that happened to be a therapist and coordinator; got a hold of me at the office. She was so excited to talk to me about a pilot program that she was starting to volunteer at different mental health clinics. As she was telling me all about it over coffee, she asked me if I was interested in participating.This was great news for me, for I wanted to go back to mentoring.

Saying our goodbyes, she reached into her bag and gave me two stuffed animals. Apparently she saw them and thought of me. A Beanie Baby duck and a bunny rabbit. I took the bus home, a little tired but very grateful for the day.

When I got home, I expected the kids to be out with friends and their significant other respectively. But they were decorating the apartment and COOKING! There was music in the radio and laughter everywhere.

We had a great evening. They even wrapped shoe boxes with newspaper and stickers to put under the tree. Thinking that there were no gifts, they just wanted to put something there. They even put tags with their names. In that moment I felt guilty for the obvious. But when I started to feel sorry for myself, God put me in my place as I heard my then 17 year old daughter telling my oldest,

- " I feel pity for those that cry over not getting what they want. We have everything here and on top of it we are together. I have friends that are getting a car, or a computer, but they have to split themselves in two, so that they can have Christmas. You people drive me crazy, but I would not have it any other way."

We danced like idiots in the living room, we had dinner and watched a movie together. Drinking hot chocolate, sitting on the floor.One by one, the kids went to sleep. I just took the empty shoe boxes and put inside the shirt, the dream catcher and the stuffed animal under the tree. Also put the box with the boots my son had wanted for over a year.

I woke up early to turn on the heater. IT WAS FREEZING. I saw my daughter in the kitchen drinking milk. She looked at me, at yelled; Merry Christmas MOM! After a bear hug, I asked her if she had seen her present. She looked confused, and rushed to the tree to open her shoe box.

She went crazy. Putting on the shirt and hugging the little duck. Rushing to the bedroom, dragging her siblings to the living room, like three little kids. For a moment, I felt the same way I did years ago when they were little. My other daughter squealed when she found the little bunny, and when my 15 year old son open the box with the boots, he fell silent, I swear all color drain from his face, then rushed to where I was in the couch and hugged me, silently and tight. I understood his silence.In that moment I knew that Christmas acquired a whole new meaning for my kids. For me.

Love and family.

© 2014 Anan Celeste


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