Merry Christmas, everyone! Today is indeed a very special day for all of us, and I hope that everyone is having a great holiday. For many of us, it’s a day of delicious food (of course!), gift-giving, and yes, even having that ceasefire from all animosity and hostility. What I value the most though are the time with family and friends, and of course, being able to reflect on why we have Christmas to begin with — the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ!
The truth is, I’ve always had a certain sadness every Christmas. But not this year. My own realization is — and I may be speaking from experience — when we get distracted from the real meaning of Christmas, it really is sad. The holiday — the holy day — is empty. And instead, we may tend to focus on what we don’t have, the gifts we were not able to receive, the stress, etc. So this year, I got a good reminder of what Christmas really means.
For sure, knowing what Christmas really means may not lessen the stress. Let’s also not forget the many challenges and calamities.
But on top of all of these, we still have received the beautiful gift of all — God Himself, who gave Himself to save us. And I know that He can help us overcome whatever challenges we have. I have realized this season that God has always been generous. God has no problems being generous. When we don’t get something, I realize it’s either 1) God has something better for us, and he always does; or 2) We are not yet prepared to receive. The second, for me, is worth pondering on. I realize that God just wants to give His graces, His love. But I realize that it’s also good to think of what roadblocks we may have put along the way, which prevent God’s generosity from reaching us. As St. John the Baptist says, make the way for the Lord. I now feel and believe that if we do, the graces will pour in.
So this Christmas and in the year to come, while we enjoy the chestnuts, the lechon (roast pork), the paella, may we pause and embrace what truly counts — our faith, family and friends. Loved ones. As for me, I have made this conscious decision this year, and I have never been happier. As we often hear and say, we only live once. I find it so worth it investing every second on what truly counts.
Happy eating! Happy cooking! And most of all, the happiest and most meaningful Christmas to everyone!