One of my absolute favorite Christmas songs is “Christmas Shoes.” For those of you that haven’t heard it, I recommend listening to it. It’s kind of a sad song, but it always manages to truly touch my heart. Every time I listen to it, I at least tear up and sometimes end up full-out crying (no judgments). It always manages to catch me off-guard; its message is just so strikingly clear and it always hits when I’m wrapped up in unimportant tasks. A lot of the other Christmas songs are about Santa, and the silly aspects of Christmas. While those are all enjoyable, sometimes I think we focus too much on all the material aspects of the holiday. Like the man in the song, we worry about getting the perfect gift for everyone on our list, putting up the decorations, making all the delicious Christmas dinner nomnoms. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in all these details, but this song always, always reminds me to take a step back. When you think about it, those things aren’t all that important. Yes, everyone wants the holidays to run smoothly and be memorable, but when I think about my favorite Christmases my memories don’t go to the presents or the food. They go to the family who came in from Colorado, or the beautiful midnight Mass I attended. I think about the aunt who came over on Christmas morning, or how at peace I feel just being with my family.
This song brings us back to the true meaning of Christmas. Ultimately, Christmas is about loving others, and spreading love everywhere we go. That’s how it all started: with God’s gift of love to the world through His Son, with Mary’s selfless “yes” to God’s plan, with the innkeeper’s compassion in giving the only space he had left. In the song, the little boy is trying to give his mom a gift of love. He wants to make her happy; to make her beautiful if she were to go to Jesus that night. He’s not thinking about the gifts he wants to see under the tree, but about his mom and how he can show that he loves here. His intentions are so pure; his love so radiant and genuine. He exemplifies everything that Christmas is all about, and I think it’s such a great reminder.
This Christmas season, I encourage you to think about ways you can spread love to others. It doesn’t have to be big; as Mother Teresa said, “It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.” God doesn’t ask for magnificent acts every day; just smiling at someone or donating food to a food bank is a wonderful, loving act. How will you share the real meaning of Christmas?
I hope everyone's finals are going well-I'm praying for everyone!