It is the season of so much nostalgia and tradition; again. Funny how it creeps up on me sooner and sooner each year. As I contemplate Christmas this year, longings are the sugarplums that dance in my head. It is the metaphor that continues to capture me. Christmas, the holiday of so much consumption, is also the holiday of reconnecting with those whom we hold most dear. In a very cynical analysis, this season of consumption that is so directed towards children, teaches our young at the earliest and most tender age, that there is never enough. We stir our children’s longings for what they don’t or cannot have, and for what someone else determines they most need, training within our babies, this sense of being incomplete, not good enough. And, it seems that this feeling of inadequacy, of not being or having enough, continues to be profoundly familiar.
For me, I can count on having an awareness during the holiday season of feeling that something relationally is missing. A relationship that didn’t materialize, or maybe one that disappointed. It feels quietly sad, and I hold it tenderly, within. Others step up and fill the vacancy, and yet, there is a poignancy of something not being quite right. Longing, not always for material things, and yet Christmas places the emphasis squarely on the material. Every year that passes I try to move away from the consumptive part of the holiday, just a little. Yet, there remains a feeling of being empty handed if I don’t have gifts wrapped up under the tree, or if there’s nothing in hand as I show up at a festive gathering. Am I enough? What do I have to give? How can I sufficiently show my own sensitivity and caring?
And, there’s also this amazing nostalgia that comes with this the grand finale holiday that ends one year and begins another. I listen to the familiar songs, and thoroughly enjoy the festive, cheery brightness they bring, never tiring of them. I find myself wondering; do I enjoy them so, because they are genuinely good music, or is it this soft sentimental place within me that just wants to melt and feel the Peace, Love, and Joy of the season? My heart weeps, as I reminisce my own familiar longings. My heart sings as I delight in gratitude for the loves that are mine and always present. The tears and singing join, and I appreciate that the longing and the gratitude intersect somewhere, where the difference is so ill-defined, as to disappear. The longing IS the love, and without some degree of disappointment and loss, I would not feel its’ depth. The holidays bring our sentimental eager vulnerable hearts to a place of great opening. Here’s hoping that you find a place to share that opening with deep gratitude. And, that any losses that are felt are reminders of the greatness of your Love that is always present. May the Peace, Joy, and Love of the Season be yours, Always. Donna