As we grow older, the meaning behind Christmas changes.
As a child, it's about the magic. Joy, in the form of a new American Girl doll or the newest set of Transformers, is delivered into your home through the chimney.
As we mature, it's about the stuff. The greedy teenage years get the best of us as we ask for our first cell phone, car, and computer from our parents--all so we can stay connected with the most important people in our lives at that time, our friends.
I'm pretty set on things. Now, it's about the cheer, the kindness. Though it's entirely non-Christmas related, this story and video reminded me of the contagious spirit that spreads come this time of year.
A mother from Houston, whose family has crossed paths with my own, tells the story of the criticism she received after her decision to adopt a Bulgarian boy with Down Syndrome. Needless to say, the idea was not well-received by even her closest friends, some of whom even called her "crazy."
Most people's most pressing concern was for her daughter, Ace, and how she would be able to deal with something that would "ruin their lives."
Somehow, the loving parents willing to devote their lives to raising this son, were being scrutinized for her having hearts bigger than we're used to.
I encourage you to read the full blog post featured on the Huffington Post, which closes with this:
We as parents get so wrapped up in trivial things, bogged down by stresses of raising children in today's crazy competitive world, that we often forget what truly matters. Being good to people. Being kind to everyone.
I'm not a parent, but I think we as people get bogged down. We forget what truly matters, too. Especially at this time of year.
Lately, I've been wrapped up in trivial matters as college can easily have that effect on you. It makes it all the more refreshing to come by reminders that simple things, like just being kind, don't just go a long way, but go the longest way.
The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is being kind to all who are near.