Who You Should Be Spending Christmas With
It was the eve of Christmas Eve, 2015, the Magnificent Mile Chicago.
“You have plans for tonight?” I asked.
“No,” she said.
“Would you like to grab a drink with me?”
She smiled, “Sure”.
We both climbed out of the hotel swimming pool and headed to our rooms.
She was an Austrian researcher living in the US and traveling solo for the Holidays. I was visiting Michigan Ave with family for our annual Christmas shopping.
“Mom and Pops, got a date, going out for a drink,” I said, when I got back to the hotel room.
“Girl I just met in swimming pool,” I said.
They were perfectly fine with missing me for a few hours of our family time, because they had the same Christmas philosophy as I did. Who do you spend Christmas holidays with? Family? Friends? Boyfriend? Girlfriend?
You spend them with the people God sends you.
They may be people you don’t know as happened at the first Christmas, when a newly formed family of three (Mary, Joseph, Jesus) gathered together in a stable.
They may be people you don’t know, as happened when, according to popular tradition, shepherds and Magi crashed the Holy Family gathering.
I think my Christmas philosophy is awesome for the following reason:
It ignores the social protocol of having to spend Christmas with four sides of family and two sets of friends and spending a month’s paycheck on flights and car rentals. Nowhere in the meaning of Christmas does it say that you need to spend the Holidays with everyone you care about. If you’re fortunate to do so, give thanks, but sometimes one or two can be just as meaningful. Spend Christmas and New Year with whomever God sends you!
Ask, “Who has God put in my path?” Whom has God surrounded you with? Whom has he given you the funds and time off to visit?
If God sends you family or sends you to family, that’s great! If you’ve moved to a new city, however, and just have a few co-workers, that’s just as awesome!
If you’re surrounded with friends this New Year’s Eve, those are the people God has sent to you. Celebrate and enjoy!
If you meet a nice person in the hotel swimming pool, maybe that’s just God tweaking your plans.
And, of course, if you’ve been blessed with a significant other this Christmas and you both really like each other, rejoice!
An awesome Christmas and New Year happens when you make it awesome with the people God places around you.
Johnny is an 80’s kid keeping analog values alive in a digital world. A committed outdoorsman, he enjoys art walks, pool parties, and talking about how cool it would be to go camping.