The Gift of Perspective
This weekend there was a catastrophe in my little Christmas nest...my beautiful Christmas tree came crashing to the floor, not only shattering a couple of my favorite ornaments, but my hopes of creating a warm comforting, "first Christmas" for my husband and I. This is the first real Christmas Tim and I will spend as husband and wife (we were married last year, but only for a week, and we moved to Colorado the day after Christmas so our lives were in boxes). Very surprisingly to me, I was heartbroken. After all, it's only a tree right?! This is not the type of thing that typically makes me upset. After the initial disbelief of the physical crashing of the tree, came [what I thought was] the earth-shattering realization that Christmas was ruined. Then came the ugly cry. I’m talking Kim K, scrunched-faced crocodile tears.
Christmas is my favorite time of year, full of warmth and tradition; now that life had finally started to settle down and the house smelled like snickerdoodles and evergreen, I had begun feeling like myself again. Life has been heavy on my husband and I lately and putting up our little tree was a warm blanket of comfort in our house. I was smiling so much more, in better spirits and feeling like the weight of this world was falling off our shoulders, little by little. So when our beautiful tree, that I spent hours decorating, that had all of our family ornaments was wasted, I was done. It was like finally being able to stand after surgery and months of rehab, only to twist your knee in the parking lot of the hospital. I screamed "CAN I JUST GET A BREAK!?!"
I felt hurt, betrayed and defeated. I know, I know. You may be reading this and want to scream at me "It's only a freaking tree, Jenn!" and you are absolutely right. It's only a tree. It is an inanimate object in which I placed so much importance that I let it dictate my spirit, mood and happiness. It is because of this tree (and physical Christmas paraphernalia) that I completely lost sight of our true purpose, especially this time of year: Giving. In truth, it took me hours to come to this conclusion. I sat and stewed for a while mourning the loss of my time, hard work and the calming spirit that tree had over our home. But by the end of those hours (and the best pep talks from my husband, Tim), I realized that there will be other Christmas trees, I can purchase more ornaments. What I learned most from this seemingly mild incident, is the definition of the age old saying: "Do not lose sight of the forest for the trees." In this case, it has a literal and figurative meaning.
This year, my goal is not to lose sight of the reason for this season. To remember that Christ was born to give the gifts of love and blessings to others, and I am to do the same. Christmas is not about the size, flocking or ornaments that hang on the tree. It is not about the coordination of wrapping paper of the presents or even the presents themselves. It is not even about the warm feeling we get when we decorate our homes. What Christmas is for me is service to another. And the greatest gift I could ever give is happiness and love to someone else.
Give Loudly. Love Loudly. Live Loudly.