We are coming up on Christmas which my family and I celebrate each year. Stores are decorated and playing Christmas music, streets are lined with lights and wreathes, and generosity is at it's height for the year here in the USA. Before graduate school and illness my Decembers were filled with decorating my house, my tree, and my freshly baked Christmas cookies.
This December I don't have the energy to put up my decorations and the cookies are looking less and less likely. Yet, I don't feel Christmas-y. I have been in downtown Seattle twice this week soaking in the atmosphere. Other people's labor has become my gateway to being a part of the strange community of "peace on earth, goodwill to all" that forms each Christmas.
I know this season is hard for many people and Christmas is not celebrated by all. For me, Christmas season is not about me or my celebration even but rather about connecting with my fellow earthlings while steeped in the message that love incarnate is among us. And I felt that connection while circling Star Wars themed gingerbread creations with other souls in amazement. While decorating a tree with a homeless woman thrilled to be able to share her love of Christmas with her children this holiday. And while laughing and chatting my way through a new yarn store with a great friend. As flawed as cultural Christmas is and as tired as I am, I am still so grateful for the love that is shared so freely this time of year here.
"Of peace on earth, good-will to men!" --Longfellow