The Experiment: Day 94 ~ This Christmas Eve This Is What I Want Never To Forget…


(I am listening to George Winston’s December album as I write, the perfect, poignant music to go with this piece…)

It is Christmas Eve, a quiet day for me. But this evening Rachel is coming over for an early evening, dinner, and we are going to watch one of our favorite Christmas movies, “Love Actually.” She wants to get home early because she has presents to wrap and has to get her house ready. Everyone comes to Rachel’s house for Christmas, and her brother, his wife, and their baby will be staying with her this week. The out-of-towners and their children, all the little ones, 18 months, nearly 3 and nearly 6, will be in tomorrow, Christmas Day, and my grandson Lucas, 13, Rachel’s son, is here. I am so excited. I look forward to this all year long. And this Christmas this is what I want to remember, all the children and the grandchildren together for Christmas. They are coming to a time when although they have always come home for Christmas they might like to stay in their own homes, or go to the other side of the family to be fair. This feels like a Christmas I must celebrate as fully and with as much joy as I can because I want to make these memories that I can sew on my heart to always have close. If we are, for some reason, not all together next Christmas I will have had this one.

It’s hard, getting older. Things change, people who were once so dear are no longer here. Relationships change, children grow up, the landscape of the holidays shifts, but this year we will all be together and it nearly makes me cry sitting here thinking, realizing, that it may not always be so, but how much of our lives do we lose being stuck in the past or projecting into the future? This is where mindfulness comes in again. Be Here Now. Enjoy this moment, treasure it, hold it close, kiss and cuddle the babies, hold your adult children close, hug them tight, cherish every moment. That’s what I intend to do this Christmas. We have had some changes in our family this year that makes Christmas especially poignant, but we will hold on to each other with so much love and we will let the joys of the season fill our hearts with gladness.

Something else to remember, while these precious times are still here, and we know they are fleeting, we should be cultivating new ways to spend the holidays, new little things that make the season special even if our dear ones are not all here. And especially if you have to celebrate the day alone. Make special food just for you, play music that lifts your heart, Christmas or otherwise, have some old favorite movies lined up to watch and then treat yourself and watch movies on the day. This year, tonight in fact, I will be doing something I have never done before. After Rachel leaves my darling friend Bekah and I are going to Skype and wrap Christmas presents together! What fun! I always plan to have the gifts wrapped WAY in advance, ha ha ha, but then it always comes to Christmas Eve and I am wrapping at the 11th hour! Tonight I will have a dear friend to chat with as we wrap. We can do this kind of thing during the holidays too, Skype and share with a friend. I’m telling you I never wanted to Skype, I was always too shy, but since I started Skyping with Bekah every week and we’ve had so much fun it’s something I want to do more of. I am mostly a homebody, I rarely leave my house, but I have friends all over the world now and lead a rich and satisfying life with these treasured friends. Messaging or emailing is nice, phone calls are lovely, but Skyping is such an amazing thing I just can’t tell you. You are really there with each other. It is intimate, you are very present with each other. I really want to do more of this in 2018.

And though it is very hard for me to leave my house I know that another thing I want to cultivate in coming holiday seasons are things that I can do for others. I may not be up to doing what some friends do that I deeply admire, serving Christmas dinner to homeless people and others in need on Christmas, but there is SO much you can do, so many organizations big and small, that do beautiful things for others at Christmas, for people who otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas. And raising money for animal shelters and sending items for the animals, that is something too. As I wrote when I spoke about the joy of the birds and squirrels at the feeders — I’ve been watching them all day with deep delight and just ran out awhile ago to put more food out for the squirrels — when we can reach outside ourselves during hard lonely times, we are lifted up even as we help others, be it the wildlings outside, a homeless shelter, families that wouldn’t otherwise have a Christmas, or the many charities around the world. What if instead of simply donating — which is huge and a wonderful thing to do — you found a way to get more actively involved in a charity either locally or online? These are things I think about this Christmas Eve, things that I want to cultivate so that I am never feeling lost and alone at Christmas. There’s simply too much to do in the world to ever end up that way. Isn’t that right?

And now dear ones I must move on to other things that need doing today before my darling Rachel gets here. It is a dark overcast day here, kind of gloomy, but I haven’t let that get me down. I have lit the trees and Christmas lights all over the house, I have a candle burning next to me. I texted all of my children to tell them I love them and am looking so forward to seeing them tomorrow, and I have sat for long, quiet spells watching the Christmas tree lights reflecting in the studio windows even as the birds and squirrels kept coming and going on the other side of the glass. There is so much in the world to bring one joy if we live with our hearts wide open, there are so many things that we can do to spread joy ourselves, and yes, as I always say…

Each one, reach one, and love, always love…

Let’s remember that this Christmas and in the coming year. I wish you so much joy, I send you so much love…


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The Experiment ~A 365 Day Search For Truth, Beauty &
Happiness: 
Day 1 ~ Introduction To The Project
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
Yoda

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Comments

  1. Thank you for being there, blogging every day, sharing your loving wisdom. Enjoy this Christmas with your loved ones!
    Love
    Silke

    • Thank you so much dear Silke, how lovely to spend a few moments of Christmas Eve with you, I am so glad we are together here. And I can just see your blue lights twinkling, the beautiful trees in your church, and the love of sweet Ben. Merry Christmas honey, I’m so glad we found each other in 2017… 🙂

  2. Sandra Carter says:

    Merry Christmas, Maitri!

  3. Tender reminders
    of embracing this moment
    to sparkle with love

    your blogs have been so uplifting of late, and they put me in a “candle lit” mood of reflection and gratitude… merci beaucoup my sister wisdom goddess

    xo
    ka

    • Oh my darling Ka, thank you so much for being here with me dear sister, I wish that we could come together, light a candle, and write together. Maybe we can write together via Skype sometimes in the new year, wouldn’t that be grand? I would love that! And the merriest of Christmases to you, Tom and Alana. May your day be merry and bright! 🙂

      Maitri xo

  4. We have a change in our family Christmas traditions this year too, with the birth of our first grandchild this past summer. My son and daughter-in-law want to have their own little family celebration on Christmas Day, so the grandparents and siblings will visit on other days. We will be going to them with our other two sons on Boxing Day.
    Our boys are all in their 30’s now so I expect that we will likely need to be more flexible each year about when we can all get together.
    Have a lovely visit with Rachel this evening and a joyful time with the whole family tomorrow Maitri!

    • Thank you so much Joan honey, yes, and don’t the traditions just shapeshift from year to year as the grandkids get older. We lived in Virginia when our kids were babies and our parents were in Illinois. We would go back for the holidays but finally as the kids started getting a little older we just wanted to be home to have Christmas at our house. I understand this very well but it pulls at my heartstrings. So many lettings go as they grow up and have families of their own, but they are living their lives and that’s as it should be. I hope you have a wonderful time with your kids and Oh! The first Christmas with the new baby! Could there BE anything better? Enjoy! And we will too, thanks so much dearheart. Now Rachel has just left and I’m about to Skype with my friend Bekah and we will wrap gifts together! There are so many ways to do Christmas as we grow along through the years. I treasure each one, just as it is… <3

  5. Paula Brown says:

    Sending love and light and joy. Our Christmas eve has been calm and just us two. Our friends who were planning on joining us are sick. We will celebrate together later. While Kev watched his football I caught up in the sewing room. Working on a beachy scenes shirt for kev which would have been for our vacation in January but with the likelihood of his surgery we cancelled. It’s been a very peaceful day. We are now watching Christmas movies and cuddling. Quiet peaceful old married folks. Life is good. Wishing the best to you and to all. Enjoy time with your precious families and Peace to all.

    • Oh thank you so much Paula, it sounds like you are having a very sweet Christmas Eve with your lovely husband. And dear, I didn’t know he might have surgery. I hope it’s not serious and that he is on the mend very soon after! Rachel was just here and we watched a Christmas movie. Now I’m going to meet Bekah via Skype and wrap Christmas presents! I hope you have a lovely Christmas tomorrow. Blessings and love to you dearheart… <3

  6. I am so glad I discovered you this year and got to read your blogs. You are so inspiring. You know I am a recovering Agoraphobic don’t you? I don’t remember if I mentioned this or not.
    I, too, want to hold on to all of this moment as I can because at 81 things can change fast. My family lives in Fla and I don’t travel but we had a nice Face Time talk. It was nice. Then we went to my brother’s for dinner, which was close by. I gave thanks for as much as I could. I am glad you have a friend to Skype with while you wrap packages. Isn’t it fun to Skype. I have a dear online friend in Sweden and we Skype as often as our time difference permits.
    Much love, Jean

    • Oh Jean honey I didn’t know that you, too, struggled with agoraphobia. It is a cross to bear and yet I can go out here and there a little to do the things I have to do and I am very comfortable going to my daughter Rachel’s where I was last night so that is good. And I’m so glad you got to FaceTime with your family. Isn’t it wonderful? I’ve had a cell phone since 2000 but never had an iPhone until April of this year and I am in love with it because of FT. 2 of my children and 3 grandbabies live away and I am able to keep up with them better via FT and I just love it. You miss so much when they live away and the babies are growing. This helps so much. And how lovely that you have a friend in Sweden you Skype with, isn’t it wonderful? I’m so glad you have her.

      I hope your holiday was lovely, mine was, and now I am just settled in relaxing with my coffee and trying to catch up here while the kids take all the littles out to do fun things for the babies. We will all have dinner tonight. I will be a blissy mama and grandma all week long!

      Much love to you Jean…

      Maitri

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