Last night I wrapped the gifts while my son was on vacation.
It was a lot of work. I stayed up late doing it.
Ever since I became a Reiki Master, my life has been transformed. And how Christmas plays a part in it is very much proof of how much moving forward I have made.
This year, taking the lead of my mother, I agreed to 'no gifts for me'. Only for the kids in the family, and in the case of a childless sister, a big fat gift card to a local fancy shopping place in the name of her dog 'to shop with mommy'.
It hurt all the years before. I fought it. I bought presents any way. This year, no. Niece, nephew, and son.
For son I shopped and hope to blow him away. Got a deal on an Xbox Kinect. That is from Santa. A cell phone (free! just send rebate.) from me. His phone number actually has his birthdate in it. He will have need of it more as he grows up. A 'bad boys chemistry set' that is from a local animal friend he adores which has morphed into another gift like from Santa. And mom got him a controller for the video gaming system.
For me, I had to buy 'from Santa' for 'Mom'. I bought a vase for twenty dollars. It is all wrapped nice from the store.
But for work? LOTS of money. I sent chocolate covered strawberries, three boxes of forty-eight, to the OR. I had to say 'from Secret Santa' because doctors are not allowed to give gifts over five dollars a person. But going in with gift cards to each L&D and Post-partum and Neonatal RN with colleagues. Harry and David to colleagues who have done extra favors over the year. The guy who covered for me while I took vacation, etc.
And neighbors, two, who always remember my son and I forget them.
And teachers. Four of them. Two main and two lesser.
Didn't forget the 'other side of the family', my son's family who is not family to me. Just for grandma and the dogs this year. Skipping the rest. Including Dad, unless he is motivated to buy something. I bought a pendant for me after my son picked it out, to be 'from him to mom'.
What helped is I used my reward points to pay for most of the gift cards and items. I did not want to go into debt. I saved them for a long time.
I am enjoying Christmas without the expectation of getting anything back.
That's it. I kicked the habit--from my wishing for a grand piano to magically show up in the living room, and naturally being disappointed. To the having to act glad over what I considered to be awful gifts. To keeping score under this Christmas tree if my sister had more than me or not. To lists to Santa, and the like.
I extracted myself from this. And the result? My self-esteem is intact.
I am bigger than Christmas. I am Eternal. I can enjoy the festivities, and share my love and hard work with others who expect 'something' from my relationship to them. But I DO NOT REQUIRE gifts to VALIDATE ME ON THIS SPECIAL HOLIDAY.
In Italy, mom's family was poor. They would visit and have sweets and play cards to celebrate Christmas. If she was lucky, she got a walnut and a tangerine. But they were happy.
I enjoy each and every card. I adore sending them. I will have to cut back on it this year, for lack of time. I enjoy cookies. I don't think we will get to make any this year. But I did watch Frosty the Snowman and Elf. We have a tree that is sort-of but not all decorated. It took four days to put what there is on it.
My gift to you, in joy and light, is to love yourselves beyond measure--the way Santa loves you--and be kind to yourself. Face this holiday alone, or in a relationship, with your head high. Stay above the drama and enjoy the stars. It is magical, this Night, above all Nights. It is magical for the things that are unseen, but rather, felt in the heart. I hope your heart is full this Christmas and Kwanzaa, this Solstice and Yule, this Chanukah, this New Year, this day to celebrate what it is to be alive!