What I Love About Christmas

by Stacy Julian | 9 years ago

I LOVE Christmas!

I love that for me, and others with a Christian faith, Christmas holds great religious meaning.

I love that the anticipation, preparations and celebrations fall smack dab in the middle of what might otherwise be an unbearably long, cold, and dark winter—at least in the Northern hemisphere.

I love the details of Christmas—the traditions, the decorations, the music, and (of course) the dipped-in-chocolate-and-then-rolled-in-crushed-candy-cane goodies that are left on my porch. I even love the task of coming up with something cute (like my Santa soap dispensers) to leave on my neighbors' porches!

I adore all the little signs of this season: twinkling lights on houses everywhere, the bell ringer at the grocery store, and the man at the gas station who dons his Santa hat.

Most of all, I love that almost palpable increase in kindness and goodwill that I can see and feel!

People seem genuinely happy even as they bustle about. Naturally, there are days that I’m exhausted by perceived expectations, my unrealistic to-do list, and the abundant opportunities to compare my efforts with others’ via an endless stream of social media. I’m wearied by the catalogs, the coupons, and the commercials. I sometimes I worry that this over-the-top materialism will drown out everything that truly matters to me, but then I try and remember what a newspaper editor in 1897 famously wrote to Virginia O’Hanlon when she asked about the reality of Santa Claus. Essentially he said that as long as love, generosity, and devotion exist and are practiced, then the spirit and magic of Christmas would remain and prevail. Thank goodness! 

Now, consider our hobby and the passion we share for making and preserving family memories. It doesn’t matter how many unorganized pictures you have or how far behind you feel; if you have a collection of completed scrapbook pages, you have evidence of love, generosity, and devotion—that you have personally practiced! You are making a difference. YOU, in all your striving and imperfection have the ability to infuse this holiday with magical creativity, both on paper and in your home.

As I thought about what I message I wanted to share with you just two days before Christmas, this is it: Look at what remains on your list. If it isn’t wrapped up in love, generosity, or devotion, let it go. Step back. Recognize all that you have already accomplished and reflect on how you want to feel and how you want others to feel when they are around you.

In a week, it will all be over for another year. What do you want to remember? What do you want to document and preserve about the holidays 2014? You can choose what it is and you CAN create it.

Merry Christmas!

Stacy Julian and the Big Picture Classes Team

p.s. Here's the editor's reply to Virginia, courtesy of Wikipedia:


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