Christmas Eve Reflections

christmas-tree-cat

Christmas Eve has always been a day of reflection for me. I consider myself a deeply spiritual person, but I don’t feel affiliated with any particular brand of religion. I grew up Catholic, but I’ve chosen to take what I call a “cafeteria approach” to spirituality, picking and choosing what resonates, and discarding the rest. I celebrate Christmas, because for me, the holiday is ultimately about love, generosity, and giving. But even more than that, for me, it’s a time to slow down.

We live in such a fast-paced world, but Christmas Eve seems to be a time when many of us take a breather. To me, there’s something powerful in such a collective slow down. Restaurants and stores close early, streets are quiet. There are specials on television. Radio stations play commercial free holiday music.

Now, more than ever before, I think it’s vital that we take time to turn off all the outside noise, and Christmas Eve is the purrfect time to do so. Turn off the news, shut down the computer with its endless social media feeds, and silence the smartphone. Put on some Christmas music, turn off all the lights but the ones on your Christmas tree, and just let yourself be. You may be surprised at what you find in the silence.

For many years, part of my Christmas Eve routine has centered around quiet time in front of my Christmas tree. I take time to remember Christmases past: the Christmases of my childhood, spent in eager anticipation of the moment when I was finally allowed into the room with the Christmas tree my parents had decorated earlier that afternoon. In Germany in those days, we used real candles, and for a child, that was pure magic. I remember Christmases shared with other cats: with Feebee, Amber, Buckley. I remember the love we shared, and the many ways they enriched and changed my life. And as I reflect on all these blessings, I take time to be grateful for all that’s good in my world.

Christmas Eve, with all its promise, and its magic, is an opportunity to take a spiritual deep breath. And perhaps it’s an opportunity to reflect on how we can make the promise of Christmas last all year long.

I know Allegra and Ruby will remind me on this Christmas Eve, and throughout the coming year, that sometimes, it’s enough to just be.

May your Christmas Eve be filled with peace, love, and purrs.

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14 Comments on Christmas Eve Reflections

  1. Steph
    December 24, 2016 at 11:03 am (8 months ago)

    Merry Christmas, Ingrid. I appreciate you.

    Reply
  2. Monica Ackerman
    December 28, 2015 at 3:31 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks, Ingrid – my childhood memories are similar to yours, Austrian Christmas was always magical. And the real candles on the tree! Now that I have a cat who likes to climb the tree I put up one year, I celebrate with my daughter and her family and their tree but I do put up lights. A whole string along the wall around pictures and a big mirror, it’s a good substitute although my son said it reminds him of an Italian restaurant. I grew up Catholic too and have chosen not to follow any religion. My life is complete with my two kitties at home and the grand kids to visit. Merry Christmas everyone.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 28, 2015 at 6:40 am (2 years ago)

      Your son’s comment about your lights reminding him of an Italian restaurant made me laugh, Monica! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

      Reply
  3. Caren Gittleman
    December 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm (2 years ago)

    I remember you saying how much you love to do this, and that is the biggest thing I miss about my ex husband. He was Catholic and I used to decorate for Christmas. We had a tree, which I LOVED! I would turn out all of the lights and do exactly what you said. It is beyond magical…one of the most beautiful and peaceful things ever. Enjoy!! xoxo

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 25, 2015 at 6:01 am (2 years ago)

      You could put some lights on a plant to somewhat recreate the effect, Caren, although it won’t be quite the same!

      Reply
  4. Will Hodges
    December 24, 2015 at 12:14 pm (2 years ago)

    Love and Merry Christmas to you Ingrid, from Will, Jan, Anya and Oscar. Thank you for helping to make every day better for kitties and their humans.

    Reply
  5. Lynda
    December 24, 2015 at 11:52 am (2 years ago)

    Thank you for you wise words, Ingrid. As always, you, Ruby and Alegra bring me back to what is important in life. From me, Dante & Puck, have a Merry Christmas and Peace to all of you.

    Reply
  6. Patricia Pond
    December 24, 2015 at 9:17 am (2 years ago)

    Lovely thoughts, Ingrid; your words took me back to my childhood as well, and brought me joy in reflecting on that time. I am blessed to spend Christmas this years with my posse: Izzy, Louie, Oliver, Lalo and Sweetie Pie. May you have peace, love and mucho purrs in the New Year.

    Reply
  7. Janine
    December 24, 2015 at 8:30 am (2 years ago)

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

    Janine, Miss Waikiki, Kapono and Madame Pele

    Reply
  8. Sue Brandes
    December 24, 2015 at 8:29 am (2 years ago)

    Wonderful post. Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  9. Marg
    December 24, 2015 at 7:05 am (2 years ago)

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Ingrid …

    Reply
  10. Diana
    December 24, 2015 at 6:06 am (2 years ago)

    Merry Christmas Ingrid, Ruby and Allegra

    Diana, Rikki and Lucy

    Reply
  11. Nancy Faulkner
    December 24, 2015 at 5:56 am (2 years ago)

    Ingrid,

    After reading your article, I feel exactly the same. Feel it is a good time to reflect & appreciate, over the holiday season! And, relax & enjoy!

    Ingrid, hope you, Allerga, Ruby enjoy your holiday season!

    Nancy

    Reply
  12. Summer
    December 24, 2015 at 4:11 am (2 years ago)

    Merry Christmas!

    Reply

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