When I was a child, my parents suggested that my brothers and I make a list of things we wanted for Christmas so “Santa” would know what to bring. This ingrained in me the notion that I should get something for Christmas. This, I believe, was one of the things I learned early in life that would cause great suffering. By that I mean the idea that I needed anything and that Christmas was a time of receiving. It is common knowledge that the Christmas season is a time of great suffering for those who feel like they need anything or feel that they have been left out of the great “Christmas buffet”. Ironically this is the time of year where we all go bankrupt trying to give stuff to our loved ones so they will be happy. Good lord have we screwed this up.
The first teaching that I had to learn in order to truly appreciate the message the saints, prophets and gurus have been teaching us over and over again is that I do not need anything. None of us “needs” anything. We have just been trained to “want” during this time of year like a huge pack of Pavlovian dogs. It is winter, so we are going to get something. If we don’t get something, we must have done something wrong. It is all about receiving, which is the wrong expectation for this time of year.
We need to focus on giving away everything we have or don’t need to those who do. Empty out our closets and give them to homeless shelters or charities (NOT GOODWILL) who distribute clothing and necessaries to homeless or needy people. While my children were little and at home, we would contact a charity to find a family who would not otherwise have a Christmas and bring them supplies and gifts. If we had been purists about this we would not have had our own Christmas, but I never thought of that.
I have given my closets full of clothes and supplies away many times. In this way I feel like I have a year long Christmas season. I can’t stop giving away my stuff. Somewhere along the way I learned that there are millions of people who need stuff more than I do. I have learned something much more important, that the love I give myself is the key to enjoying the Christmas holidays.
I had heard over the years about people who get highly depressed over the Christmas holidays. I did not really understand that until I experienced that myself. Last Christmas was one of the most depressing winters I have ever experienced. The only bright spot was when I took several boxes of clothes I wasn’t using to a homeless shelter and watched as the people tore through them with delight. It is by giving that we fulfill our purpose here in this dimension.
The amazing thing that I am experiencing this winter is that I do not look forward to Christmas at all. By that I mean there is nothing special anymore about the holiday because I feel every day is Christmas for me now. I wake up every morning knowing I have a present no one can ever give me, life. I enjoy every day knowing that as the gift of life unwraps itself minute by minute that my life cannot get any better by giving something or receiving something.
I do not want anything for Christmas. Even yet, I question whether I will give anything to anyone for Christmas. I have come to understand that a truly enlightened person does not need anything nor wants to change anything for any one else. Everyone is on their own path and enjoying it as they will. If someone needs a gift from me to prove that I love them then perhaps there is something that needs to change about that. Perhaps the best gift I can give to anyone is my presence. If they don’t want that then why do I need to go buy them something?
I am going through a lot of change this season, including finding the love of my life. A lot of things are upside down and moving sideways. However, I am truly convinced that I do not need to buy anyone’s love this year. Either I have it or I don’t. I see so many posts about “changing the world” and I question whether the world needs changing. The only thing that needs changing is how I perceive it and myself. I think I will give more love to myself and to the world this year to see if the teachings are correct. However, I do give my love to everyone and hope that I will not cause any sorrow or suffering. I know I will not be sad or suffer, so perhaps it will be a stellar holiday.