Courtesy of Salvatore Vuono
Mindy’s words are a perfect accompaniment to my approach to Christmas this year. I am bringing it inside—into my soul. All the outer trappings can stay as they are and I’ll accept the crazy commercialism. I can even feel a sense of appreciation for the lights and pageantry, although I do pray that the harried ones will eventually find relief from the frenetic pace they endure during the holidays.
This week of Advent is focused on Joy. It feels good to really bring that concept inward, as it relates to the meaning of Christmas. I’m reminded of the old church hymn refrain, “joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.”
It is possible to feel joy and grief simultaneously and frankly, I’m relieved by that realization. Shortly after Mom died in July, I remember thinking, “My God, we can’t celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!” Now I know that grieving is a process but joy is a state of being that can co-exist within the process.
When I think of joy and try to describe the feeling, the phrase “child-like wonder” always comes to mind. Mindy’s point of allowing our adult selves to find delight in Christmas is the difference between misery and comfort for me this year. Delight and gratitude are like the chicken and the egg. Who cares which comes first so long as we get to eat?