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🎵 “Silent night… Holy night…
All is calm, all is bright.. .”
What is it about the holiday season that everyone loves so much? Why does this time of year feel significantly different than any other time?
I asked this when an overwhelming sense of peace came over me on the first chilly night of December.
I was taking a quiet night drive through the crisp air that could be heard whipping against the car windows. The smell of firewood burning filled the neighborhood, and classic Christmas melodies surrounded me softly.
At that moment I realized how relaxed I was; I didn’t have a care in the world. And for the first time in this stressful year, everything felt like it was going to be okay…
What did it? I want that soothing layer of peace all year round... Where can I get it?
In an instant I had figured it out.
Everything about the holiday season promotes the idea of slowing down and enjoying each moment purposefully.
The cold air - having less kinetic energy than warm air - is slower. It makes people move slower, breathe slower. We’re reminded to appreciate the simple things like the warmth from a hot cup of coffee .. or a hug.
The music - soft piano keys and saxophones - plays like lullabies over the slow sizzle of a cracking fire. We can hear our thoughts.
People drive slowly past homes strung with colorful lights to admire their beauty and the holiday spirit of their dwellers.
Perhaps to avoid the cold outdoors, we spend more time indoors with each other and feel no need to rush out. Our conversations slow down as we remember why we enjoy having them in the first place.
Each task is an event that you don’t want to skip - decorating the tree, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, and sipping hot chocolate - each facilitating a unique sense of love and gratefulness.
The joy of giving motivates us to wait for the look on our loved ones faces as they open their gifts. We might’ve thought that the gift exchange was just part of the job, until we realize how much we crave that fleeting moment of intimacy with the people we love. In fact, we wait all year for it. So when it finally comes, we slow down to savor it.
My goodness, how grateful I am to be able to experience this type of unity and love, in a time when it’s needed the most.
I encourage us all to slow down, look around, and take a moment to enjoy what we have in front of us. We will be back to our busy, fast paced lives soon enough. But for now…find the peace that’s hiding in plain sight.