Monday, December 24, 2018

And to all a Good Night

Tonight my family spent time together to celebrate the holiday.  We had our pasta bar and salad bar that my wife and I prepare.  It is nice as I offer three sauces, two proteins, and two different types of noodles as well as sautéed mushrooms and homemade garlic bread.  It gives great variety while keeping things nice and simple.

We have been celebrating the Christmas holiday on Christmas Eve since I was a young teen.  It all started because my mother couldn't wait for my sister and I to start opening gifts.  Right after dinner, she would bring out a gift for us and say, "Only one, that's it."  The next thing we knew, it was midnight and we were opening gift number six.  Since my mother, who is no longer with us, couldn't wait for the actual Christmas experience, it just became our celebrate with a nice meal and gifts.

Our family is much smaller now and the two kids, my nieces, are grown and although they appreciate opening a few things, seem to appreciate the cash most of all.  I have become fine with this as it has allowed us to make the night about eating a meal together and spending some fun time together...laughing and reminiscing.  My father, who is up there is years, also seems to appreciate the low key pace of the night.

Another benefit that celebrating on the Eve has allowed is other families and friends get our family for Christmas Day.  When I was younger, this seemed to be more important, but today, where things are with our families...Christmas Day has become the day to wrap up the holiday and take down decorations to create a fresh slate for the new year and all that it will offer.

I will admit, deep inside me, when I allow it to make its way to my thoughts during the day...I miss the "old" meanings of Christmas.  I miss being a kid and the anticipation of seeing family, getting gifts, and the whole package of Christmas.  For me, it is like visiting a snow globe in my mind which allows me to appreciate it enough to smile, then put it back on the shelf for another year.

I noticed when we were out yesterday, that I looked deep into the faces of small children and saw that building anticipation of the season.  The excitement.  The joy.  The taking in the music and the decorations.  The belief.  The wow of it all.  For a brief moment, I was right there with them.  That was all I needed to relight the spirit of Christmas in my heart.  I guess that is what Christmas is for me today.

I hope all enjoy there time with family this holiday season.  I hope you can find that little kid within if just for a moment.

And to all a goodnight.

Be Mindful.


Mark Levine


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