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The Real Meaning of Christmas


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I am positive that the epiphanies I had over the summer and the realizations I have had about life and my purpose here are all correct. Why?? Because this is the FIRST Christmas in YEARS that I haven’t felt really bad or depressed. I know some of you worry about me…I read your messages and your emails. I appreciate it, but this year I am filled with a sense that everything is as it is supposed to be. I feel content in many ways that I never have before. True, I wish that I was somewhere else right now…but I’ve also realized that part of my current lessons in life are about patience. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I have never been a patient person, partly due to the ADD brain of mine, I’m sure. Still, I can be better and this year I resolve that I will.

This is the first Christmas in many years I have not cried and thought about Christmas’ past. It’s the first year I haven’t gotten melancholy thinking about my parents or my childhood. This is a good sign to me that I have honestly, finally, moved beyond so much of the traumas that I kept a secret for so many years. I’ve stuck my neck out a lot this year. I have stood up to some people. I have made decisions to say things that I knew would be controversial and may be met with opposition. I’ve stood my ground, I’ve looked inside of myself to learn the answer to the age old question, “who am I?” and I think I have finally gotten answers for the first time.

As I sit here in a McDonald’s, being thankful I could eat something totally awful today, I am watching three little girls who are sitting in a booth. They are very good girls and I am sure that they are the children of one of the woman working here today. I imagine she is a single mom. Her girls are dressed nicely; very cute in fact. All three girls have their hair braided, they are wearing dresses and converse sneakers. 🙂 They are beautiful girls, obviously mixed because they have the gorgeous golden colored skin that I have always thought was such a perfect color. They are playing with their new Christmas ‘toys.’ The oldest has a laptop (I am guessing she’s about 12), the middle child is about 9-10 and she has what looks like a Kindle Fire and the youngest child, who looks about 5, has one of the pads for kids, for reading and games. I am sure that their mom worked countless hours for these gifts and the girls seem well-deserving. I just wonder if they couldn’t have gotten these any other time of the year? Why the big push to have these sorts of gifts under a tree? What about the mom who is working on Christmas Day today, probably to pay for these gifts? What sacrifice is enough that these girls spend their day sitting in a booth at McDonald’s to be able to spend time with mom and the fact that no babysitter would stay with them while mom had to work? These things make me very sad.

I can see my RV, across the street in the Walmart parking lot. Th only other thing there is a Walmart truck, parked right in front of me. As I sit here, I am thankful to not be a part of the madness of Christmas this year. I’ve had a growing disdain for the holidays for a few years. This year it is safe to say that it has all come to a head. I’ve never seen so much chaos. The commercialism makes my stomach turn. This year I saw countless things to make me despise the holidays. I saw two fist fights in the Walmart parking lot. I have seen about 3 shoplifters arrested in stores. I’ve seen hundreds of children having meltdowns, being drug around well after 10 pm at night by parents who seem to not understand that quality time with your children is more important than making them suffer so you can buy them a present that lights up their face one morning, one day out of the year! I have heard no less than one dozen couples having arguments right in front of their kids. Most of which included profanity that my parents NEVER uttered in front of me…and believe me, my parents both swore like sailors. My father NEVER called my mother a bitch. My mother NEVER called my father a dick. NEITHER of them EVER said the F-word. I’ve heard all of that and more this year. I’ve also heard CHILDREN saying things that would have gotten me back-handed right then and there! Now, I’m not advocating that people should be smacking their kids across the face because I don’t think that is necessary. I will say that a swat on the butt wouldn’t hurt and that washing a mouth out with soap once in a while will shut that lil’ mouth too.

I look at society and I wonder where in the heck it all went wrong. When did we start caring more about things and less about people? I think my Christmas next year will be vastly different than the one this year. I have a good feeling that I won’t be quite so alone next year. I still will not spend one dime buying Christmas presents next year. (Sorry honey!) I’d rather shower you with little things all year long and then spend some quality time together baking, snuggling and watching old movies. Decorating a tree is a wonderful tradition, but I don’t fill it with packages underneath. I might make you a little something special and slip it under the tree, I might take you to see a movie on Christmas Day, but I am never going to do the holidays like this ever again!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas day. I’d like to shout out to my friend Skye Isono, who got the real spirit this year and caught the meaning of Christmas. Skye spent her morning getting warm clothes out the homeless people on the streets of Houston. THAT is what Christmas is about. Please, let me remind you that the program called 26 Acts is happening this year. If you agree with me, that the world could be a better place, and if you feel that Skye is a great example, join me this year in committing 26 random acts of kindness, in honor of the people who died at Sandy Hook this year. It shouldn’t be just for that reason. Kindness should be shared from a place in your heart that so many of us have lost touch with and really need to find. If you pass on anything to your children, let kindness be the thing they remember you for. Amen. Merry Christmas to you all.

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Categories: ADHD, life lessons, love | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “The Real Meaning of Christmas

  1. Jesse I love this. So many people seem to think that you have to have a floor full of gifts to be happy. As my children let me know being with each other is the most important thing. I am a very firm believer that you do things all throughout the year not just one day. My children know that I love them even though they don’t get lots of presents. I am very blessed that they realize that it is not just about that. Even knowing that they had just one present under the tree they were still very excited. To me that touches my heart and lets me know that I did something right.

  2. well written as always. I wanted to let you know that you have been a blessing to me . You have actually inspired me to start writing again and sharing some of my old stuff. Sorry that you are alone today….nut you really are not you have all of us and your animals and God. I have a good feeling about this next year for you because you have been such a blessing to ALOT of people just in the short time i have known you.

    • Aw, Lea … thanks dear! You humble me. You guys always keep me pretty humble. 🙂 I have read some of your blog. It’s good to dig into your feelings and put them on paper! (or screen as we do these days!) I know I’m not alone. I have an amazing group of fans, readers and friends from all over the world. I have two adorable cats and a dog that has been my faithful and loyal companion for going on 13 years now. I spent the afternoon talking with the most adorable little gal in the world who told me she is counting the days until I get ‘home’ and she gave me 60 days as of yesterday, so informed me as of today I have 59 and counting. LOL. I’m very blessed, very happy and have nothing to feel sad about today at all. God bless you, Lea. Merry Christmas.

  3. sapphospeaks

    I agree with some things you said, others maybe not as much.

    I agree that Christmas can be commercial and chaotic, but it is what you make of it. I love giving Christmas gifts, but I don’t stress out over the shopping or the sales or anything else like that. This was a very relaxing Christmas for me — much better than last year’s which was the first Christmas after my divorce and after I came out to my children. They are older, but know that I can’t afford elaborate gifts. They had a few things on their list and I had fun wrapping them and going through the family traditions we established while I was still married, including a wonderful candlelight church service. I could tell it gave them a sense that even though so much has changed, there is much that hasn’t.

    The mom working on Christmas Day has her own journey to walk, just as you walked your own. She could be looking at you and feeling sad that you’re eating alone at McDonald’s on Christmas Day, not knowing this has been a breakthrough Christmas for you. As for her own circumstances, she might be thankful she has a job that allows her to support herself and her children. She might think it was worth the sacrifice of working on Christmas Day so she could provide these learning tools for her children in the hopes they can make a better life for themselves someday. Without knowing someone’s whole story, it’s hard to know what is really in their heart.

    I, too, love the 26 acts of kindness movement that it going on now. Several people I know started “RACKing” (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness) others on Dec. 1, before the Newtown shootings even happened. Kindness is always good.

    Blessings to you, Jesse. If half of the goodness you bestow on others comes back to you, you will have a pretty awesome 2013!

    • I love the random acts movement. Back when I had more money in my pocket all the time, I would pay for two cups of coffee and ask them to give mine to the next person who came in and things like that. I think that it just creates a different atmosphere. As far as the mom working on Christmas day, I have no doubt that she’s thankful for the job, but it is the WORLD I think that is wrong that puts her and her kids in this position. That’s my point. For example, I noted in the grocery store just yesterday that something I used to buy has more than doubled in price in the last three years. I know for a fact that many other things have too. I then stopped to realize that the money I make has definitely NOT doubled. The world is a tough place that places more and more emphasis on work and less and less on home and family. I see this is as a major downfall for all of us. To me, this is sad.

      • sapphospeaks

        Just after commenting I finally had time to look at the paper and read a story of a 2nd grade class that decorated the classroom tree with “Random Acts of Kindness” deeds written on paper ornaments. Some of those acts included sending homemade Christmas cards to nursing home students,covering pinecones with peantu butter and seeds for the birds and squirrels and playing with the dogs at the Humane Society shelter. Maybe there is hope for the future! I think there is a pushback against the consumerism we grew up with. We’ll see…

        Funny you mentioned grocery prices, I went shopping this weekend and was shocked at the price of tuna. I remember when it was less than $1 and now it’s more than double that. 😦

      • Yes, I used to buy ground turkey a lot. I see that it has tripled in price since I stopped eating meat. How strange that it all goes up but wages do not. 😦

  4. Kel

    Its funny that you have written about this, as I had that same feeling this christmas. Last year this time I was in a marriage ( with a man ) that was ending horribly. I was sad, angry but ready to stand on my own two feet. I knew that this year I wanted to be able to say I did something to make someones holiday just a little bit brighter. This is my first christmas out . I didnt spend a ton of money, partly because I didnt have the money but mostly because I feel like thats all people expect. Christmas Eve I spent my entire day working at the Veterans Hospital where I am a nurse. I cherish the fact that on a daily basis I am able to thank these men and woman for thier service and for fighting for my freedom… I have to say though, that the line of family members that came to stand around thier dads bed and sing christmas carols was no doubt the highlight of my day:) Its the true meaning of christmas that should be seen. Family, Friends… and love… no doubt::)

  5. tess

    luv you Jesse !!!

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