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. My parents were Catholic, and I grew up in that faith, but during my adult life, 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 an incredibly fast-paced world, and it’s rare that a large number of people take the time to slow down at the same time. Christmas Eve seems to be a time when many do, and 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.
And of course, I have my cats to remind me to slow down and to just be. 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 my cats 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.