Christmas Eve has always been a day of reflection for me.

I consider myself a deeply spiritual person, but I don’t feel affiliated with any particular brand of religion. My parents were Catholic, and I grew up in that faith, but during my adult life, I’ve chosen to take what I call a “cafeteria approach” to spirituality, picking and choosing what resonates, and discarding the rest. I celebrate Christmas, because for me, the holiday is ultimately about love, generosity, and giving. But even more than that, for me, it’s a time to slow down.

We live in an incredibly fast-paced world, and it’s rare that a large number of people take the time to slow down at the same time. Christmas Eve seems to be a time when many do, and to me, there’s something powerful in such a collective slow down. Restaurants and stores close early, streets are quiet. There are specials on television. Radio stations play commercial free holiday music.

And of course, I have my cats to remind me to slow down and to just be. For many years, part of my Christmas Eve routine has centered around quiet time in front of my Christmas tree. I take time to remember Christmases past: the Christmases of my childhood, spent in eager anticipation of the moment when I was finally allowed into the room with the Christmas tree my parents had decorated earlier that afternoon. In Germany in those days, we used real candles, and for a child, that was pure magic. I remember Christmases shared with other cats: with Feebee, Amber, Buckley. I remember the love we shared, and the many ways they enriched and changed my life. And as I reflect on all these blessings, I take time to be grateful for all that’s good in my world.

Christmas Eve, with all its promise, and its magic, is an opportunity to take a spiritual deep breath. And perhaps it’s an opportunity to reflect on how we can make the promise of Christmas last all year long.

I know my cats will remind me on this Christmas Eve, and throughout the coming year, that sometimes, it’s enough to just be.

May your Christmas Eve be filled with peace, love, and purrs.

16 Comments on Christmas Eve Reflections 2013

  1. Beautiful……I am spending tonite with my 4 cats…..Cali, Luci, Duncan and Brooke and tomorrow and the rest of the weekend with family. I love them all very much. Thank you Ingrid for all of your insights into life with cats. Merry Christmas to all

  2. Sometimes the holidays turn in to a hectic rush than seems like to much trouble. Slowing down and remembering that love is the root of it all is so very important. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a peaceful and happy new year.

  3. I never thought of Christmas Eve as a collective slow down!

    I married into an Italian family and Christmas Eve is their big night. I, too, am German and my celebrations have been more of solitude and reflection. It’s been a bit unsettling for me over the years. Once again, Ingrid, your take on things gives me a chance to look at things in my life differently too and I am very thankful.

    May you, Ruby and Allegra, and the spirits of all your former loved felines and humans, have a peaceful, happy Christmas.

  4. What a beautiful post and how very true – we should all learn from that I think.
    Lovely photograph too.

    Hope you and your felines have a happy time over the “holiday” and we all , I’m sure, look forward to more of your always interesting and informative posts in 2014.

    Nothing but good things for everyone next year

    (There is always hope!)

  5. I love your philosophy. My Christmas eve used to be pretty hectic when there were more family members. Now it is my sister and I, plus my son and his girlfriend. My daughter lives out of town and so we celebrated earlier when she was able to make it home. I am not into the fast paced scene anymore. I like it more relaxed and watching Christmas shows and the tree lights. This Christmas isn’t turning out to be very good for me. I have had a lot happen in the last couple of months and now I just found out I have another health problem that could be bad, but I am hoping that it is not. I like to just sit in the evening with my cats. They make me feel good. I feel so loved when they all want to pile around me and I believe they know that I am not myself.

    I also want to say that I love the picture with this post!

    Ingrid, I wish you and Ruby and Allegra a calm and relaxing Christmas and a bright and happy New Year!

  6. That is such a great way to spend Christmas eve. We like to do the same. My father made little electric candles for our Christmas tree. It is such a pretty sight.
    Merry Christmas to you Ingrid and those two gorgeous ladies that live there with you. Take care too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *