You may be away from your loved ones, but you will never be alone at Christmas.
It was not a day like any other, it was Christmas; however, everything was different from previous years; I was alone in another country and very far from my family.
Not that December 24, 2011 was to be spent in total solitude. I lived in a house with a family of 5 women who welcomed me as one more member; Still, mine was far away and I couldn’t help but miss them.
Night came and although they had invited me to spend Christmas Eve with their family, I was a bit reluctant. I didn’t want to be there. And not because they made me feel bad at all, just that I never felt comfortable in social gatherings. The truth is that after insisting a bit, I accepted and was with them that night.
It was a completely different and very beautiful experience. In Colombia we usually do a novena of Christmas bonuses for 9 days until December 24, the night on which the «God child» is born. Just at 12 o’clock at night we put the figurine in the manger and we gave each other the gifts. At midnight or shortly before we meet as a family, eat and have fun as a family or with neighbors.
But where I was was a little different, but just as pretty. That night we ate and we talked for a long time, we took pictures and then we went back to the house.
My personal Christmas gift
That night I remember that just before midnight, I decided to do something that I have been doing since then; a personal tradition that I give myself to be close to God.
That night, before midnight, in the solitude of my room, I knelt down and gave thanks for all the blessings I had received that year and for those to come. I asked for strength to continue fighting, and light to know what to do with my life. After that, I just spent a bit more time meditating about everything that had happened that year, and then I fell asleep like I never had before.
That day many things changed for me. Material things lost importance and the spiritual aspect gained a great space in my life. The family, which he had always taken for granted, that day took on the importance it should always have. I learned to appreciate the little details: the home, my pets, the annual decorating “tragedy,” home cooking, and my parents’ advice. That night, those 15 minutes before 12 at night, everything changed for me.
Don’t be overwhelmed, you’ll never be alone (except at Christmas)
As long as I can remember, my family was there for me. Yes, it is true that we also had our gloomy Decembers; those that almost every family goes through financial anguish or family problems, but were overcome and left their teaching.
It is also true that since I became an adult, Christmas does not have the same magic as when I was a child. As a child, I wanted to be an adult and enjoy the things that come with adulthood, but not Christmas.
At this age, Christmas lost much of the magic it had when I was a child; However, after that Christmas of 2011 I learned that I can always put a positive turn on things and make sure that these Holidays are not tinged with loneliness or sadness.
That night in 2011 I learned that Christmas is much more than gifts and is to be at peace with oneself despite how difficult life has given us that year soon to end.
It is true that many of us lose many things throughout a year, but Christmas can restore faith, strength and fortitude. At Christmas you realize who really loves you, but above all you realize that you are never alone.
Don’t focus on the material
Although businesses try to convince us otherwise, Christmas is a time for much more than waiting to receive and give gifts. In this season we should be able to be more grateful, kinder, more loving with each person around us; that would be a very nice sense of christmas.
Not that I despise presents,Not at all. It is a fact that many people use gifts and material things to express their affection. Also, who doesn’t like a nice gift that is given with love?
The meaning of Christmas
Whether gifts are received or not, the reality is that Christmas is worth much more because it is a date for the family. It is when many people return home and reunite with their loved ones to share time, typical food and memories, that is the time that is really worth it.
This is what really makes sense of the long annual wait for December 24. It is that for a whole year, the only thing that we who know what it is to be away from home want is to return with our people, see them and hug them. Knowing that your family is alive and waiting to see you and hug you is what moves us and makes us resist.
For me, pass the Christmas 2012 with my family after a long time without seeing them, recharged my soul with strength to fight. Fortunately, my life changed for the better after seeing them again and having them around. This was the best proof that changes are always for the better; that my prayer of December 24, 2011 was heard and that today I can be happy to be by their side to spend one more Christmas with them. That is the only thing that is worthwhile for me today.
If you are alone around this time, get closer to your spiritual part, analyze yourself and give yourself a moment for yourself. Try calling your family and getting ready to go home next year and have a nice Christmas season with them. Meanwhile, take advantage, Christmas alone is also worth it.