Merry Christmas, Madison

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Merry Christmas, Madison. As I write this I have a house filled with family, presents under the tree, and a feeling of gratitude for a year of adventure and activity. Growing up, Christmas Day never held the same sentiment as Christmas Eve. While filled with anticipation on the 24th, after the initial excitement of opening on the 25th, I felt immediate sadness that the season was near its end.

Today, the 25th is just as special as the 24th because I decided to use it as a catapult for the year to come. I don’t subscribe or surrender to the notion that New Year’s Eve is the designated day for resolutions or affirmations. I choose to make the 25th a time of reflection and readiness.

As I sit among new things I think about the purpose and value of other or older things in my life. Maybe because I’m in the presence of family, which always seems to fill me with a sense of self, I find greater peace and opportunity to explore.

At Thanksgiving we gather and share what we’re thankful for. Why can’t something similar happen at Christmas?

This is the very question that came to me a few years ago. Today, I like to ask people their plans for the new year or how they’ll use a gift they received to do something special. Now, bear with me. My favorite component to Christmas used to be seeing someone open a present I purchased. Now I like the conversation that follows more. Christmas gift giving, celebrations, and general joy shouldn’t be reserved for one day, one brief moment of wrapping paper being destroyed, or an extravagant meal at the formal dining room table.

Plot and plan with your loved ones today. Dig deeper and ask questions about the gifts they just received. It might seem cliche, but there’s something to be said about a conversation around the Christmas tree.