The Christmas we want is often idealized from our childhood. I want snow. (I’m not going to get snow in Los Angeles, but I want it.) I want kindness and tenderness, and I want everyone I know, including family and friends, to be happy. I want to have warm feelings and good memories, and I want to get a few presents under the tree too! I want the world to rest in peace on Christmas. That would be present enough.
And then there is the Christmas we need, and that is often very different from the Christmas we want. Sometimes the Christmas we need is not warm and fuzzy. It might not even be happy. Every now and then Christmas can be painful, but sometimes a painful Christmas is what we need. It becomes soul material for us. It changes us. Helps us grow and shapes our inner being.
And then there is the Christmas we get, and what we get is usually some combination of what we want and what we need. The Christmas we get invites us to be present with all that is — our happiness and unhappiness, our good memories and painful memories, the people around our table and the people not around our table.
Our wants becomes our prayers. Our needs become our soul material. And our gets become, simply stated, our real opportunity to embrace the God of the present moment. Take a Breath on this Winter Solstice day. Something is drawing close to us. I can feel it. It’s whispering our name. Breathing into our hearts. Christmas is coming, and if we’re lucky, we’ll get a little of what we want, a little of what we need, and we’ll get, well, we’ll get what we get.