It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….with madness in every store! You know that it’s Christmas when you go to the shopping centre and find yourself faced with countless people running around madly, shopping bags dragging behind them and frowns that can be seen from a mile away. So much Christmas cheer and peace, especially when you hear the car horns blaring in the car park. I’ve learnt to keep my windows closed in the car park because I really don’t want to hear all the charming phrases people throw at each other. You really gotta wonder about what Christmas means to people. Since becoming a Christian seven years ago, Christmas stopped being about time off from work and present, although I’ll admit that I still buy presents at Christmas time because, let’s be real, who doesn’t like receiving presents? But in recent years, Christmas has become a time of joy and reflection for me; I reflect on the love of Father who sent His Son for us; on the people in my life and the love that I have; on what the last year has been like, and, on where my heart is at.
This year has been, by all accounts, a challenging year, so Christmas has a different tone in our house this year. There is still much joy, love and thankfullness, but there more excitement this year than any other year and the reason: as of Christmas Day, mum will only have 2 more chemotherapy sessions left and she finishes her chemotherapy treatment! 2 SESSIONS!! Can I get a hallelujah!! The only downer for Christmas this year is that mum will have a session on Christmas Eve (sucks, I know), so that means that on Christmas Day, she will more than likely be very tired and won’t be able to taste any of the food cooked (from what I understand, chemo takes away your taste buds and you’re left with a chemically taste in your mouth; delicious). But in the grand scheme of things, she is with us, she is cancer free and she is almost finished her treatment. That light at the end of the tunnel is shinning brighter and brighter people.
Clearly, my family is looking forward to Christmas. However, not everyone enjoys Christmas. I’ve mentioned before that I’m fascinated by human behaviour and yesterday when I was at the shops I went to my favourite cafe (Coffee Emporium in Wetherill Park, I love that you feed my caffiene addiction), ordered a coffee and just watched people. It was fascinating and at times depressing. I sat there and just watched; people were walking around alone or in pairs or groups; some were chatting merrily and some were not talking at all. I noticed parents yelling at children and dragging them along. I noticed how tired and run down some people looked as they lugged around too many bags and went from one store to another. I watched people’s faces as they looked in their wallets and there were looks of satisfaction, confusion or despair. I watched as people got cranky because the person in front of them was walking too slowly (I will admit that bugs me too, however you’ll be pleased to know that I keep my mouth firmly shut and slowly nudge my way through). So much madness and running around that it makes you want to stop and just give people a hug.
And let’s not forget those that will be spending Christmas Day alone, or in hospital because they are unwell or they need to sit by someone’s bedside, or at the cemetery visiting someone’s grave. Or those that have family in the defence force that be anxiously waiting for that skype call to come through so they can just get a glimpse of them and see that they are alive and whole. I suppose what I’m getting at is that this year, I appreciate what I have a lot more and am a lot more conscious of those around me that may not be as blessed. This year, I’m much more focused on the reason for the season than I’ve ever been and I’m determined to not be distracted by the swapping of the gifts and be more focused on sharing a meal and quality time with people I love. This year, I want to make peace with all the things that I’ve yet to make peace with. I’m determined to give back in my own little way and pray that it blesses someone. This year, I am looking forward to just sitting in silence and giving thanks.