Christmas Comes with Magic and Introspection: 2017

It’s been a difficult season. I feel guilty for lacking that magical feeling as other families deal with their own crisis. I find myself fighting the logical side feeling very fortunate while another wrestles with faith and confidence in a changing life.

I’ve always said that all the stress and running around for Christmas is pointless as it always arrives and it always works out. No matter how much we are proven this fact, we still stress.

There are many nerves that the season stirs in us. The first is our egos; we need to find and be able to afford the best gift and we need to come through for our kids, our families. It’s just one day to show we’ve been listening all year.

Another nerve is guilt. Did we hit the mark? Did we show how much we care? Did we leave anyone out?

There are so many feelings and emotions all interacting at the same moment. We realize true loneliness as other families and friends gather while we are alone. The season amplifies all that we have and all that we lack.

Finally after all the stress is over and Christmas eve comes-we realize what is most important. It’s time that we can spend with our families. It’s the smile and laughter among friends and loved ones that makes us realize why we do all we do to prepare.

The amazing thing is the beauty and magic have nothing to do with the gifts or the decorated tree and shiny wrapping paper. There is a reason why the Grinch failed, he stole only what made Christmas look like Christmas, he couldn’t steal the love and togetherness that was in the hearts of Whoville.

On Christmas eve I shared a meal with my son, close friends and family. I went to church and watched other families and felt the joy of what the season is supposed to mean.

On Christmas day – I watched my oldest son and his girlfriend with such pride. I felt so lucky to have known him since he was two and felt the privilege of having raised him. Raising him truly made me be a better person.

His son will enjoy the holidays to come with the same passion and joy we shared, like cutting down a tree in East Texas, Santa’s footprints from the fireplace on the carpet and the half eaten cookies and hot chocolate for Santa. I also watched family members gather around and realized how much love we all share after so many years of family history. I felt lucky to be a part of their celebration.

I listened to my youngest son and all his joy for the season. I watched him save several aspects of the season and truly made my holiday special. My brother and his family shared gifts as we always do and I realized how much a family thinks of and cares for each other.

This was my Christmas and no matter what is to come, I choose to count my blessings, realize how lucky I am  to have the people that I can call friends and family. These gifts are given by the host of hosts. My faith, for the moment, restored, I look up to a dull gray winter sky and I am truly thankful.

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Written by stevelinebaugh

Oil painter and pastel artist, writer, photographer, graphic designer,
originally from New Jersey

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  1. Kinda sentimental tone…I never like decorating for the holiday. I am of opinion that it could come and go without me bothering about those stuff because the important thing is the togetherness and love shared by the family. I also wish people will start looking at it that way rather than the commercial value of the season — or what it stands for in Christianity (only because history had established it is not so but we still perpetuate the myth — would it matter if Jesus was born on a summer?)


    • Very sentimental-my 19 year old son is planning on going to the service in October. I’m in between jobs and in between lives-it’s all a bit of upheaval and it’s wearing on me a bit.

      I had a hard time getting through some of this season-I thank you for the challenge as it has really disciplined me and kept me more focused.

      I’ve always said Christmas should be a season of home made gifts that say something about the people you care about-if you see something that some one would love-great if not that’s okay too- we just need to enjoy togetherness and think less of the presents!!! Thanks again my friend and look forward to many more conversations with a harping pixie!


      • Well our small business is not doing very well since April of 2016 and it has dented my reserve to almost nothing that I have to forego a lot of travel plans. Still, I am happier, more at peace and calmer than when my financial situation was better. So, I dunno. Challenges in life, I always believe, mold me into a more beautiful person. Besides, it is all about perspective. When we think we don’t need anything then we feel complete. Your son at 19 is too young for that kind of environment. I hope he changes his mind. If I am a parent, I would allow my kid to choose his or her own life but not just the service. Lol! I hope the new year brings us all a better one. Nevertheless, let us choose to be happy no matter what.


        • Absolutely-we choose to be happy or not…sometimes more difficult than others. I’ve been putting a bug in his ear about the service but his thought is he wants to make a difference and he loves his country-I pray for God’s intervention and I believe it will all work out. I hope you and I both have a wonderful year in 2018 and look forward to lots more sharing and learning.



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