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On This Christmas Eve

That most wonderful time of the year

On this evening of one of the greatest holidays ever, it always seems to become a day where I go through my hours, trying to live in a way of reflection. Where I really try to keep the day special, as I remember my inner tools, like spirituality, mindfulness, and self awareness.

While the holiday is still a day away, this day too, feels so warm and special. And while it certainly is not the same magical night that it used to be as a small kid, it still seems to leave waves of magic and happiness, as I go into my mid 40’s.

Christmas eve has always seemed like a night of warm energy. Even on the coldest of nights. It was a time that was exciting, but yet relaxed. To me, this evening is best when yule logs burn in person, and even on the television screen, when friends are together, as they come home for Christmas. It reminds me of countless types of food, and late night evenings were for midnight mass at church. Those late night evenings, what often seemed like a tired moment coming, never ended with exhaustion. Whether as a kid, or a grown adult, nobody seem able to go to bed early.

Not all Christmas eves were happy and bright. I have experienced countless Christmas seasons, suffering from a massive addiction. Whether heroin, or cocaine, it went back and forth, and back and forth. Trying to find drugs on Christmas, is just as easy as any other day. But it was guilt and shame that out strengthened every feeling.

I share that dark experience with you all, as a solid, and continuing reminder of what guilt feels like on Christmas. And I don’t mean your everyday average guilt. I am talking about that painful mess that stings and permeates all through the body and mind. It’s something I would never wish upon any soul.

It is the pain, that has allowed me to feel the true beauty of this season, where I can really pick apart my happy moments with endless practices of mindfulness. A tool for appreciation and awareness that works like no other.

Although the eve of Christmas is not a legal holiday, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it most certainly has almost always felt like a holiday. One that I spend at usually a small and happy family dinner. In a neighborhood that in many ways, stops in time, during this beautiful period. The participation of decorating, runs far and deep among the houses that we live around.

Today we are about to come upon the main event of the Christmas holiday. Often we have been looking back reflecting on the roughest year in a very long time, and it can sometimes feel easy to look back with such disdain.

We can lose that thunder and warmth, as we often speed through this holiday season, and when it comes and goes, we feel a bit of lose, and we wonder, “where did all the time just go?”

While we can’t control the time that passes, we can remember to be mindful of just how important each Christmas moment can be.

We should remember all who have been lost this year. We should appreciate our health, and the blessing from God that do reach us, and touch us, and our loved ones each and every year. It really can still be, that most wonderful time of the year. Embrace friendship, and love one another tonight and always. And remember that when it’s about this holiday season, it’s about being grateful for this chance at life.

Season’s Greetings, and Happy New Year.





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Michael Patanella

Michael Patanella

Author, Publisher, and Editor. I cover mindfulness, mental health, addiction, sobriety, life, and spirituality among other things.

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