My 1st Christmas was 2014. My dear sweet friends, Miki Aaron and James P Aaron (along with Amanda Moseley and Jonathan Aaron) wanted me to experience the day with them and to show me how they did Christmas. They wanted me to celebrate Jesus and our friendship all in one. I was nervous. I was concerned I was doing the wrong thing. I told them I would join them for theirs but I didn't want gifts. I got sick and couldn't make it. But still took over my Spinach Artichoke Dip for them to enjoy and I left them gifts under their tree while they were out feeding the homeless. You say you didn't want gifts but you left them gifts? Yes. It's a crazy mess that you have to process when you come out of a cult and performance based foundation and the threads of things you have to work through run deep, but the reality is, I felt I couldn't receive, I could only give. They honored me and when I was better, they had me come over and showered me with a late Christmas...ohhhhh and yes, they gave me gifts.
My 2nd Christmas was 2015 with my boyfriend. I gave him 12 Gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas. I created a fixed dollar amount I was going to spend on Christmas and I bought as many people as I could gifts. I had a pile of gifts in my living room to give and it made me freaking happy!!! I had my first Christmas stocking hung over the fireplace mantel. I had lighted garlands and wreaths in my living room and on my front door. I went to many Christmas Parties and Christmas Concerts and Christmas Events and embraced Christmas fully for the first time. I loved every minute of it all.
This is my 3rd Christmas. I am doing 3 Christmas Parties (all the others I am saying NO to because I do not want to be as busy and on the go as I was last year, along with the fact that I want to be fully intentional in all aspects of the Christmas Holiday and this year, less is more for me). I'm late with my planning and ideas, but I know I will make it memorable. I wish I could tell you what it means to be doing this again this year...
I know no matter the questions you have about Christmas, God still is with you and He wants you to love Him and others every single day. No matter whether you have family to celebrate it with or not (I don't), you can still create an amazing and happy Holiday. No matter if all the peeps you love and have considered your true close friends support you or have turned on you and become an enemy and are against you, rejected you, blocked you, condemn you, judge you, and won't love and be loving and if necessary, forgive you, your Holiday season can be filled with love and loving people. No matter if you feel the Holiday Spirit or hate this time of year because it stresses you out and you dislike all the consumerism of it, you can create the life you want and be intentional in what you make this season to be in your own life. No matter if you feel obligated to give gifts or don't want to give or receive any gifts, you can create a special day with amazing memories.
Love shines through.
Love is the healing action.
Love is needed.
So...no matter whether you celebrate Christmas or not...I want you to feel loved. I want you to be able to close the year reflecting on LOVE, having lots of GRATITUDE, and embracing all the ABUNDANT BLESSINGS we each have!