Everyday is the same now; one more monotonous than the last. Get up, go to school, come home, work, sleep. You'd hope as the holidays come around that things would liven up and be all sparkly, but rather the opposite seems the case. Work gains importance as Christmas draws ever nearer and all else loses meaning.

I curled up under my quilt last evening and thought of how much more 'real' Christmas used to seem. Does all of the charm and excitement just go away as one gets older and get replaced by fear, anxiety and outside pressures? I used to think that being 18 would be the nicest age imaginable, but that is just as much of a childish fantasy as Santa Claus.

As I pondered this thought, it hit me. We always look to the future for answers, like the child who hopes their wish will come true under the tree. What about all those gorgeous memories? Isn't that alone enough to make us yearn for the future? All of those wonderful noises and smells, of clattering dishes, out of tune carols, and salty roast potatoes and rich gravy; the compulsory family time.

With the toll our hectic lives take on communication, this should have been sheer bliss. Presents used to seem so exciting, tearing off the paper in shreds to reveal the gift below, but now the joy truly seems in the giving.

When I awoke this morning, I decided that to fully appreciate Christmas this year, I have to block out all the negative, and truly embrace the spirit; the spirit of waiting for wonderful things the future has to offer, of what the past has taught, and of the beautiful gifts God has given me.

This way joy radiates around, and you feel like you can conquer anything before the holidays arrive with all their beauty. I really can be a season of peace, of inner peace.

Copyright © 2000 Esther Harper

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