For me, the onset of the Christmas season brings annoyance and anger. I’ll be so busy. All this gift giving and partying, public events and lights, and hours of tree decorating interfere with my plans, not to mention all the things I usually do, which I want to do more than ever now that there’s no time for them.
That lasts about a week. This year it might have been even more acute because I visited out of town family over Thanksgiving, departing when there was no sign of Christmas but returning to lights and bright store windows ad nauseam.
I mean, really, what would be wrong with a candle in the window, a nice family dinner and a toast to Baby Jesus’ birthday?
Next comes the frantic time. There’s too much to do. I can’t possibly get it all done. What gifts to choose; how to plan the season’s activities; what to serve for dinner; whether there will be family drama of some sort – and so on.
I grit my teeth a little, noticing some sad and tired friends sharing my travails, and get to work, wondering if there’s some way to simplify it all.
Then I find some really special gifts, notice how great prices can be during this time of year, get the menus clarified a bit, ditch the belated birthday celebration I was thinking of adding to the list, and begin to rise out of the darkness.
My family will be together during Christmas week. Hurrah! I can, after all, stay close to budget and still look forward to smiling faces of loved ones as they open a gift or two. Ham, scalloped potatoes and green beans shared with the people you love the most is pretty special stuff.
I go to the closet and find my red clothes, this being a good sign after my black attire during the first couple of parties. I hang a few wreaths on the doors and begin to revel in the good things about the season. What a relief that those last few weeks are over, so I can really appreciate dinner with friends, helping my mom with her decorations, finding the perfect book for my granddaughter, and sneaking a few cookies, all resolutions notwithstanding.
It should be simple and warm, loving and kind, much more than a rush for “stuff.” Accepting the opportunity to reach out to others during this officially designated season can be okay, and more than okay. I’m so lucky I’m even invited to parties, and able to buy that ham, not to mention the treasure of having a family.
The lights, the carriages, the festivity in the air are to be appreciated.
Stand your ground. Create your meaning. Take a moment to memorize the faces around you. You can never count on these good moments being repeated.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and many more – your style.