Today, I met up with some friends in Boston. I misread the original message, thinking that I was meeting them at 11:00 when really they were going to meet me at 12:00. With a little over an hour to kill, I walked around Faneuil Hall to take in the Christmas decorations. I’ve talked before about Christmas decorations and how they add something special to a day, but as I was walking around taking in the various lights and bobbles, I began thinking about my friends that I was going to meet. About how even though we live in different parts of the state we still come together in December to catch up and celebrate a little slice of the season.
Then when I came home, I saw that my mom had decorated the house, putting up lights on the windows and snowflakes and hanging the wreath on the door. And…well, I don’t know. Somewhere between first thinking about my friends and coming home to the house decorated it hit me. That it’s not about having a checklist of items and tasks you need to cram into your schedule before Christmas or else that clock that keeps counting down the hours and minutes until Christmas will have a sad face and say disappointedly, “Well, we’ll try for more next year.”
It’s about meaning, folks. Meaning, importance, symbolism, whatever word you would like to call it. Meaning behind the things you do. For me, the meaning behind the different things we come to associate with Christmas – the lights, the decorations, the tree, etc – is that those things help remind me to put in extra effort this time of year to show people that I care about them just as those things I listed require extra effort to display.