Christmas is a good day, but just that, a good day

This is Christmas week. Everybody, well, nearly everybody, is in a flux about this Sunday. I am not. I have learned down through the years that Christmas is just another day. A good day for sure, but a day nevertheless.

Too many people look to the holidays as magical. It’s understandable. Christmas is considered the biggest holiday of our calendar year. But really, it is a day.

Once the presents are opened and the anticipation wanes, disappointment usually sets in because our expectations are so high. I believe we need to moderate that because Dec. 26 also is a good day. So is May 25, my brother’s birthday or June 24, my son’s birthday. All good days.

Grant you, this is not an original thought. I have a mentor that has been preaching this for decades. He does not take away from the day, he just points out that there are days afterward and before that are equally as good. In fact, I believe it was the first time I was introduced to the concept and I instantly recognized it as valid.

One year, in my younger years, I got stuck at my older brother’s house for Christmas. I was going to spend it with my mother in the High Sierra’s – Mammoth Mountain to be exact. But she got snowed in and I couldn’t get to her. So, I was grounded at my brother’s house and it wasn’t fun. I was a fifth or sixth wheel and was not really feeling it. I remember that I went for a long walk to just get outside and feel a little better. The day was awful and it was my doing. My expectations for the day were out of proportion and it was unhealthy. It was then that I began to hear about this gentle man who talked about Christmas being a good day, but just a day and there were a year’s worth of them, if we are of a mind to recognize them. I did and so it went.

The next year and subsequent years after that were significant improvements. I had fun and the let down was minimal, if at all.

I am now 61-years-old and this Sunday will be fun. My stockings are full, the tree is adorned and the room is ready. The kids are around. The wife is too. I am gainfully employed. Life is good.

I, like so many others, have challenges. primarily financial. Again, my doing, so it must be my undoing. I have made great strides along those lines, cutting my credit card debt nearly to zero. It has taken  me nearly 18 months, but it’s almost done.

Now, what does any of this have to do with Christmas. Nothing, really, except Christmas does come at the end of the year so it’s inventory time. Always good to take stock of where you are, have been and perhaps, where you’re going.

I am grateful today for my family, my friends, my co-workers and outside people I work with every day. I have learned a tremendous amount over the last decade. The biggest lesson is to easy does it, this too shall pass and one-day-at-a-time. The latter is probably the most important lesson of my lifetime. One-day-at-a-time. A lifesaver if there ever was one.

I want to take a moment to recognize those who are estranged from their loved ones and are struggling during these holidays. I, most assuredly, know how that feels. I want to say to you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not an oncoming train. I want to wish you Godspeed and safety and prosperity. I wish for you that your discomfort is removed safely and with sober intent. I wish you well. I have been there and it does get better, if you allow it to get better. We do have to participate.

Finally, Happy Holidays to all. It is nice, but so is Feb. 8, or April 12th, or Nov. 9th. Good days all. May you find peace and serenity in all of them.

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About stevewhitmore

Former award-winning newspaperman and broadcast journalist, both radio and TV, spanning three decades. Army-trained paralegal, court bailiff and prosecutor's lead investigator for the 8th Infantry Division's Judge Advocate General's Corp., Mainz, Germany. 1973-1975.
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One Response to Christmas is a good day, but just that, a good day

  1. Tim Valiquet says:

    Amen, brother. Thanks for the perspective. See you on the other side of this crazy time of year. I’m spending the holidays with my wife visiting family back home in Canada, which is a good thing to do.

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