A Far Different Take On Christmas 2021…

It most definitely feels strange to be experiencing Christmas this year in such a different way from prior ones.

Coming home after a long Thanksgiving vacation down South to a completely unlit and empty yard with only our outdoor garage and side porch lights on felt very odd. Odd compared to the typical Clark Griswold display I normally would put up every year well before mid-November even arrives.

Seeing our now cold and dark yard brought out feelings of both relief and sorrow. Relief that I didn’t have thousands of lights to ensure remained on for the next month or so, but sorrow over how lonely my yard looked, especially when so many of our neighbors had holiday lights and decorations adorning theirs. As I took all that in though, something came to me I never quite saw before, and that’s how far I’ve grown away from what I feel the meaning of Christmas is meant to be.

The meaning of Christmas over the past bunch of years for me was more about making my house look amazing and then showing it off on Facebook and to friends. Christmas was always more about outdoing myself from prior years with my decorating. The pressure I put on myself to do so took far more precedence over the true meaning of the holiday season, which I believe to in the sharing unconditional love with everyone. As a kid, I didn’t experience that either.

While Christmas wasn’t so much about putting up huge holiday lights and displays, it still was very superficial in that our family did incredible amounts of holiday shopping and spending. That behavior carried well into my adulthood where big and lavish gifts meant lots of love. When I finally moved away from the gift-giving side of things for the holiday season, it became more about engaging in another aspect of holiday superficiality, in my decorating. Without that whatsoever this festive season, I clearly saw how most of my prior Christmas holidays have constantly been focused on one ego-aspect or another.

On average, if I was to guess, I probably spent close to $500 or more on my decorating during prior holiday seasons, which honestly is no different than now much I used to spend on gifts as well. That’s a big reason why this year I chose to do neither and instead simply focus on just being more unconditionally loving.

Having a completely Christmas-free home has surely helped with that because I haven’t been focusing on all those ego-based aspects of the holidays. Making my home shine so brightly in years past where you could see it from several streets over was definitely more about ego than unconditional love. The same can be said of many of the gifts I bought for former partners, friends, and family in holidays past.

Of course, it always felt good to have neighbors compliment my outdoor Christmas displays and see cars driving by slowly taking pictures. It also consistently felt good to see people’s jaws drop after opening the lavish gifts I once bought them during the holidays. But all of that was me just trying to outdo everyone else. Ego. Ego. Ego. And when so much ego is present, it’s pretty hard to focus on the true meaning of the holiday season.

So I’m glad that I have a dark home this year without all that ego in action. It’s very much helped to shift my thinking and place my focus more onto what should have always mattered during every prior holiday season. Because at the core of each holiday season, whether one is religious or not, believing in Jesus or not, is the desire to share unconditional love with each other, something that becomes very difficult to do when the focus becomes more about overly spending on gifts or outdoor displays and trying to outdo everyone, including even myself…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson