“For many of us Christmas is a big bah humbug! It’s that nauseating time of year that begins long before Halloween, when the hawking starts in every store isle and Christmas becomes a commercial extravaganza of sensory overload. Step right up, get em’ while their hot becomes the mantra of store owners everywhere. Christmas has become a lot like eating five pounds of Sees chocolate in one sitting. When it’s over all you want to do, but can’t, is burp. Haven’t they heard, too much of anything is still too much?

Now marketers are even hanging out in coffee shops and mall restaurants, innocuously playing with their computerized toys, acting like Joe Citizen, getting people interested and then getting their emails or phone numbers for a sales call later. All this done of course, under the guise of community sharing or just your neighbor hanging out. Is nothing sacred?

Some things still are, but what? What is sacred in your life? Oh my kids, my partner, my privacy, my freedom, my home some of you might say. But really, when was the last time you took a peek at what you hold sacred in your life and are those things slipping away in the din of sound bites and lost priorities? Lately, I have had several friends with death or near death experiences. Makes me wonder what might be different if this Christmas was our last one. Would we hold our beloved a bit tighter. Would we take more care and time to find the perfect right gift from the heart? Would we watch the children in malls with a bit more wonder and awe? Would you sing a Christmas carol and let it touch your heart? Maybe now is the time to get our priorities in order, reclaim the sacred in our lives.

Why is it we wait until some foreboding event arrives to remember how precious our lives are? We get pricked with a 9-11 or the threat of a disease and we suddenly have a newfound appreciation for everything we have and hold dear- all of which a moment ago we were taking for granted. Do we create these events to wake ourselves up and help get our priorities in order, and if so, maybe we could skip the crisis and just take a moment to get back to what matters.

Close your eyes right now and listen. Listen to sound of conversations in the air or the wind rustling through the trees. Listen to the traffic noise, even the horns honking and know this is the sound of life happening. Even with all the pollution, all the traffic and all the freeways, at the end of the day you are sitting in your car going home to somewhere you care about and to someone who cares about you. And if there is no one there, you still have lot’s of shopping days beyond Christmas to find him or her.

Look at your self in the mirror. See the person who has overcome great challenges and who has made it to celebrate another Christmas. Think about the courage it took to simply be here and the millions of small and not so small decisions along the way that have made you who you are. Put you hand on your heart, feel the beating and know that in this moment you are still alive to make choices, love the people in your life and make a difference. What an enormous gift – this gift of time. Time to do it better. Time to learn more. Time to watch another sunrise or sit in the stillness of spirit. If there is not another thing in the world that you can be thankful for, you can be thankful for this time.

Somewhere in the world a child is born and a child is dying. Somewhere there is peace and somewhere there is war. There is pain and suffering and in the same moment there is exquisite joy and you and I are blessed to be in the middle of it, embracing it all. Even in the midst of sound bites, plastic Santa’s that rotate, and Christmas in October…we are so incredibly blessed. Have a warm, loved filled Holiday with special blessings from all of us at Arizona Together.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

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