Christmas is not a mystery

Christmas is almost here and I’m sure we are all wondering where the time went! Last year simply flew by and here we are again celebrating “The most wonderful time of the year”. Sleigh Bells are ringing, snow is glistening, there is a breeze here and here and still we are sweating some days. Well that was not a part of any song, but it probably should be if you are in the tropics this time of year. But you know what is probably common among us all; confusion as to what to buy for our loved ones. We are all running around in a frenzy wanting to make sure that everyone that we know and love knows that we love them by the gifts that we will give them. And the children are patiently waiting for us to bring all of the goodies to their doorstep so they can excitedly open the wrapping paper (that costs a fortune) and hurriedly rush through to see what they got and then busily look for what else is under the tree for them. Wow isn’t it the most wonderful time of the year?

I remember when my children were about 10 and 11 and started arguing with each other over who had the most gifts. I overheard this conversation “how come you have 15 and I only have 13 gifts. I could not believe my ears. They were seriously counting all of the packages under the tree with their names on it and piling them up against the wall in their own corners and getting upset that one had more than the other and had their 6 year old sister in on the whole racket too. Seriously! At that point I realised that they had no idea what this gift giving time of year was all about and were a bit off base. From that year and onward I realised that I had to teach them what Christmas was really about and begin to focus on giving and not receiving.

There are the songs that we hear that become so normal that we often don’t even focus on the words. I remember one song from a high school play saying “Christmas is all about love, love of the father from above, Christmas is all about peace and joy, hope and love forever”. And another one that went “Christmas isn’t Christmas til it happens in your heart, somewhere deep inside you is where Christmas really starts”.

Has Christmas begun in your heart yet or are you still caught up in all the hype? The year has flown by but here we are alive and well and having an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company and the festivities of the season. Do you know someone this year that could use a helping hand? How about starting to think about this and involve your children to turn the focus off of them and what they want but to someone in need. One of my sons who is 21 now told me just lately that he appreciated when I did that to them all those years ago. And to think I didn’t ruin them without giving all of those unnecessary gifts at Christmas after all. Time has always been a more valuable commodity than material things so why not find time for the people that we love this year. Why not find time for our children and spend quality time with them this Christmas and holiday season instead of trying to compensate with so many gifts!

And mostly let us remember the baby that came into the world wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger of hay with no material things to offer. Let’s ask ourselves; what are we valuing this Christmas? Together let’s find the reason for the season and create peace, joy and goodwill here on earth and learn the art of giving.

And then tell me how your week is going at [email protected]

Catherine Tyson is the author of I’m Somebody’s Mama and host of the Lighten Up Show With Catherine Tyson on Cayman 27.