Christmas is the time of year when we like to be with the ones we love. If you ever spent a Christmas away from home, then you know it can be very sad and lonely. I hope everyone who reads this will be able to be with, at least, one person whom they love and cherish.
My immediate family makes it a point to get together on Christmas day. We all live relatively close by and we are all still young and able. I am sure I will be seeing extended family, friends, and in-laws sometime around that day as well.
When my family gets together, 9 times out of 10, the first thing we talk about is appearance. “You look great!” Or, “I love your shirt!” And, “You hair looks so pretty!”
Well, to break it down, appearance is what we see first. So, it is natural that we notice. However, it doesn’t have to be the first thing we talk about.
When I am getting ready for a party, I have found that I no longer dress myself. I wear what I think other people will compliment. I do not wear what I like or what is comfortable for me. I feel pressured to put on clothes that will get attention. Not in a bad or immodest way, but a fashionable way, I guess. Since appearance is what we traditionally talk about, I want to be a part of the conversation. I want to be accepted. I want to feel like I belong.
The truth is, I don’t like clothes. I would wear a sweatshirt and jeans every day of my life. I have nothing against fashion, it’s just not me. I recognize that it is not my personality to be a fashionista.
So, when it comes to getting ready for an event, I am trying to be someone I am not.
I am pretty sure my family would still love me even if I dressed like a bum.
What I am not sure of is whether or not my family is falling victim to the brainwashing of society; the focusing too much on appearance.
I don’t need to change the way I dress to please other people. Just as true, you don't need to change ANYTHING about yourself to be accepted...you lifestyle, your job, your weight, your hobbies, your beliefs. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are deserving. You are good enough the way you are.
And I am good enough the way I am.
Just because it might be the first thing people talk about, appearance is not the first thing on the priority list.
If you want some insight on this subject, just look at little kids. Kids already understand that adults are a little too obsessed with looks. Kids don’t like to be around those relatives that pinch their checks and talk about how big they are getting. They understand they are more than what they look like. And they are easily annoyed by people who talk to them about it. All they want to do is just go down stairs and play with playmobile or constructs...
I’ve found that I haven’t grown up too much. I still get nervous and annoyed around people who are constantly talking about appearance. I still feel more comfortable playing "mother may I?" with the kiddos.
I know I’ve said this before, but, before the holiday parties this year, I am going to think of some other topics to talk about.
Some of my ideas are:
The weather (an oldie by a goodie)Or the state of the roads (bahhahahaha)
The marathon I ran in October
Pope Benedict’s most recent encyclical Charity in Truth
Basketball (Love you, HusbandJ)
Questions about school, life, work, etc.
Do you have any ideas?
Instead of commenting on each other's outward appearance first, let's talk about more important things. If we practice doing this, I believe we will all begin to feel more loved. We will be able to lift each other up. And we will be able to look in our own hearts and minds and find beauty that is deeper than what is seen on the outside.