What I didn't say in my holiday letter is that there is so much that never makes it to the page. No one wants to read about your heartbreaks and disappointments and struggles and mistakes. We carefully craft the news of our year to suggest our positive outlook, highlight our endearing offspring, and nuance our hopes and beliefs for the future so they seem similar to everyone elses.
Some years, however, it is just too much. One storm after another blows through, and it is good enough to just be standing. I get why many just send out a picture. What is in your heart can be just too difficult to share and feels impossible to ignore.
Thankfully, I always have the spirit of giving in my heart. In fact, it is one of my favorite things to do. I got this from my mom, who has perfected the art of gift-giving. She thinks about it, carries little bits of people with her all year round in order to find that something that shows she knows someone, gets them, and most of all loves them enough to find just the right item to express this love. How much money she has had to do this over the years has varied, as it has for me. That is the part that never matters. Through careful planning, ingenuity, and just plain thoughtfullness, she always manages to give the perfect gift.
My mom has had some tough years. I have, too. But it seems we always rebound for Christmas. Even if we can't set a word to a page, we can get outside of ourselves long enough to think of someone else and that is what saves us. I know many who view the commercialism of Christmas tiresome and shallow. I will agree to a point. But it feels good to get out of your head and into the heart of someone else: how can I make their day? how can I show what they mean to me? Words do fail. What is left is to offer our hearts through a gesture of kindness or a small, tangible offering of love that cannot be verbally expressed.
Restless Gray Girl