the sudden wonder and excitement on a little kid's face when you decide to give him a gold dollar instead of the regular 25 cents to buy hot chocolate from his little stand on the side of the street. and the quiet gratitude and appreciation expressed when you give his older brother the same reward.
this year, i feel like i've been waaaaay less affected the commercialization of the holiday (though resulting in a total of zero gifts for close friends and family with the holiday right around the corner), but i also feel like i've participated less in the sacred and special moments as well.
probably because i've been preoccupied with post-graduation decisions and stress with freelance jobs here and there and preparing for a few more art shows (read: preparing=unnecessarily fretting about) as well as riding some emotional rollar coasters. and also being genuinely concerned and heavy-hearted about recent difficult situations in the lives of many people whom i deeply care about.
how do you let the Christmas spirit linger in you? as i write this, i realize that i had the same problem last year. but then i found some joy.
earlier this month, my mom read me a Christmas story that made me want to do something similar to the opportunity i had last year -- which was one of the most miraculous and joy-felt experiences i've ever had. and what made that opportunity so great? i'm honestly thinking here....
making little kids happy.
working with other people who share the same desires and excitement to serve.
doing something for someone that they could not do for themselves.
all of this put so much joy into my heart. pure joy made out of love. all sorts of love can bring joy: complex, simple, courageous, romantic, platonic, charity-filled....love is love and it can come from and for anyone. and as we remember why the Savior came into the world in the first place, we feel hope. hope, joy, love.
so as Christmas quickly approaches, i'm going to be a little more mindful of the joy, hope and love in my life. i will focus on service and on my Savior. and when i can't figure out why i'm stuck in a rut, i'm going to do something that incorporates an aspect from that handy list up there.
join me, if you'd like. it's Christmas time!