Yes Adrea, there is a Christmas

xmas-tree-2014Growing up Jewish, I always envied everyone who celebrated Christmas. I loved the twinkling lights and decorations. I would ask my grandparents to drive me through the local streets where all the beautiful homes were decorated to perfection. We celebrated Chanukah; I received eight presents for each night of the “Festival of Lights”. But the wonder and magic of the Christmas season and the decorations always filled me with joy.

When I was able to make my own choices about how I would celebrate the holidays, I immediately went out and bought my first Christmas tree to place in my office. I hired a professional service to decorate it. It was white with gold and pastel pink and blue ornaments. It was truly breathtaking and fellow office tenants came by to see my magnificent tree. This tree fulfilled the longing I always had for my own Christmas decorations. Yes Adrea, there finally was a Christmas.

As the years went by, I came to love the magic of the holiday season even more than I did as a child. Over the years, I went to the Radio City Christmas show, visited the Rockefeller Center trees, saw the Nutcracker ballet, and hired Santa Claus and carolers for staff parties. I started my own holiday traditions with family and friends. I decorated my home with wood reindeer and beautiful bows on the lawn, had bowls of ornaments throughout the house, and one of a kind miniature trees. Yes Adrea, you’re making your own Christmas memories.

In my travels, I bought numerous Christmas ornaments. Each one was different, with its own special meaning and memories. I collected snow globes, Christmas villages, singing stuffed animals and all things “Christmas” to put on display. It took the staff and myself hours to decorate the office with all the memorabilia I collected to fill my holiday passion.

In addition to the holiday decorations, each year I hunted for the perfect Christmas cards. One year, frustrated from my lack of choices, I designed a mail box with a holiday wishes card inside. I started a tradition of sending holiday wrapping paper for all our clients, vendors and friends. Yes Adrea, you do love all things Christmas.

And then one night four years ago, Santa came to me in a dream. My beloved grandparents, who were long gone, were sitting in a sleigh being pulled by Rudolph. That jolly old elf Santa, who was born in 270 AD and is more than a 1000 years old, reminded me that the magic of Christmas will always live in my heart, and not in the decorations. I woke up and decided it was time for a new “Christmas Miracle”. I went to my office, which one employee referenced as “Christmas Nausea”, and gave away all my ornaments to my staff to have as part of their family traditions. I donated all the stuffed animals to a children’s hospital.

I realized my love for all things Christmas and the holiday season will always be a part of who I am, no matter how I decorate. The next Christmas after my decorating purge was in my firm’s new office space. Instead of going over the top, we had a singular tree decorated in red and gold ornaments. I embraced the simple celebration of the holiday.

reindeer-2014Yes Adrea, there will always be a Christmas.

Without it there would be no childlike faith, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.” – Francis P Church 1897

May the wonder of the Christmas season be yours.