I love this time of year. I just feel better in every way possible. I have more energy. I feel happy and my depression seems to go into hibernation. I love giving and sharing and family and just the thought of Christmas makes everything inside of me feel a little tingle. I also make a concerted effort to see God in the people who are the most challenging for me. I actively try and be the better person I long to be and every minute that goes by, opens my heart a little bit more. That being said, I often have to protect myself from negativity and people who have bad attitudes and bad intentions. I just turn them off, say a small prayer for them and disengage. Feeling good is rare these days. There is so much around us constantly trying to suck the happiness out. Somehow this time of year I am able to find that sweet spot that some might call balance. How do you feel this time of year? Why?
I am sitting here in my living room watching Christmas lights dance on my ceiling. Yes I know it’s early but there is something very calming about lights and a tree and a warm fire emitting from my fireplace. I needed a break from the world going on outside. It’s safe here. No one is judging or fighting or screaming opinions at one another. We are just spending time together and we are happy. Every one of us. My kids are actually in the same room with me and my silly daughter hooked us up with her Christmas music playlist. She is dancing around like a crazy child. These are the moments you know? When my family is together and singing and happy and I am feeling so grateful for this beautiful moment. I will let this sink in. This is what it’s all about. I hope I am extending this peace out to all of you. Have a great night.
Today’s the day. In a few hours I will be on a plane traveling to the place I have always called home. When I think back over the years, I am reminded of the joys and challenges that every year brings. There have been years when the loss of a loved one left the house feeling very empty. There have been new babies and new spouses that have added countless chairs around the dinner table on Christmas Day. There has been tough love and the kind of love that makes you drop to your knees and thank God for the opportunity to be together in one place on the same day. Through the immense mountain of wrapping paper and occasional fistfight over a board game not going our way, one thing always remains, love. That is the best Christmas gift of all. Breaking bread with people who will be there for me when the rest of the world goes away. I am grateful for each and everyone of them. They are so unique, so different from one another and they are my family. My people, my tribe, my safe haven. The people who make home so much more than a house on a road in a small town. They are my circle of love and life. I can’t wait to spend another Christmas there and will smile to myself at the new face that will be at our table this year. So many blessings.
We have this silly count down to Christmas snowman. The only problem is, he is a little off on his days and no one has gotten around to fixing him. For the last few days, my son has been asking if it’s six days until Christmas, five days until Christmas etc. I even thought about getting him a calendar because I couldn’t understand how he could be so confused. After all, he is 13, doesn’t he know how many days are in the month? Then I noticed the snowman today and it was obvious why he’s been a little confused.
We went to the mall yesterday with three million other shoppers. Everyone was moving slowly and the mission I was on was taking more time than I had to offer it. Not only were people leisurely gliding from side to side so I couldn’t get around them, I had to deal with those giant sized electric ride on stuffed animals. It seemed that the grandfathers were all too excited to grab a child and ride these slow moving creatures throughout the mall to avoid stepping into a single shop. I wanted to scream and kick these bears, elephants and pandas clear across the floor and out of my path. I realized the rage I was feeling was not appropriate for this joyous Christmas season so I decided to drop what I was doing and get the heck out of there. This the season to be….
I love to read all the posts for the 12 Days of Christmes blogging challenge so I thought I’d join in.
For as long as I can remember, we have always gone to church on Christmas Eve. After mass, we gather at my sisters house for a beautiful sit down dinner followed by amazing desserts. We all gather in the living room patiently waiting to unwrap our Christmas pajamas and in a matter of seconds, we are comfortable, warm and very cozy. Sometimes the pjs are pretty and sometimes they are just plain funny. It is something everyone looks forward to every year.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Why not join the challenge?
It hit me today. Christmas is in 3 weeks. This is one of those times a year I love the most. Food, family, games, presents and of course a nice long break for the kids from school. I know many people feel stress but for the most part, I notice people are happier and kinder. Maybe it isn’t them at all and it’s just that I feel happier and am able to be kinder. Whatever it is, it’s a magical time and I am grateful it’s here. What do you love about this time of year?
Child’s pose has become one of my personal resting poses in yoga. As I kneel down and bow my head, my inner child starts to speak. We all have one, but has her voice become muffled by all the other distractions? My inner child is like a super hero. Her faith is strong. She still believes in fairytales and is amazed by acts of courage. She has hope beyond comprehension. She really believes in happy endings and healthy relationships. The adult voice in me tries to get her to quiet down. There are no fairy tales. Life is hard. People are selfish. They sabotage their own happiness. They feel comfortable in misery and drama and they blame everyone else for the demise they bring to their own lives.
Imagine how different I would be if that was the only voice I ever heard. Imagine how hopeless my life would seem if my inner child lost the ability to speak. Children live well. There eyes are like gigantic fountains of love and wonder. They trust and believe and they feel happiness that most adults will never know. They think less and live more. It’s easy for me to choose which side I want to be on. Maybe the child in me believes in things that aren’t real. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe we need to believe in something that so many others no longer see. Today, and this Christmas season, let your child have a voice. Laugh, love and most importantly, don’t forget to play. No child should be left behind so don’t forget to bring along yours either.
I spent the day wrapping up my shopping today. I was really taken back in a great way by what I experienced. People were relaxed and friendly and unusually kind. One of the things I love most about the holidays is they bring out the best in us. People make eye contact and smile and chat just a little bit longer. I found kindness and compassion and friendliness in total strangers and it really lifted my spirits. There is so much good out there. There are people who display hope in their actions and their words and I am grateful my path crossed with so many of them throughout my day. What is Christmas about anyway? It’s so much more than the store bought gifts we bring on Christmas Day. It is about being grateful for the gifts we have and for the the many blessings we see in the people around us. It is recognizing that we are all love and if we see through our hearts, we will really experience how we are all connected. That gentleness is there in each and every one of us. Look for it, celebrate it and be grateful for how much you really have. Be love to everyone who crosses your path. Be light to everyone who is struggling in the dark. Be that person that a total stranger was grateful to run into on this and every day. One kind word, one smile and one considerate gesture goes such a long way.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The brainstorming has started over what gift to match with each name picked. The kids have projects due and finals they are beginning to stress over. The schedule is full. Work Christmas parties, concerts, swim meets, shopping, stressing over all that needs to get done. Sometimes I wish I could take the great big remote control of life and just press pause. I can feel the anxiety building. It happens when I look too far ahead or at least when I look at chunks of time in weeks. Today, I needed to calm myself down and remind myself to take one thing on the list at a time. That’s it, no more. One day at a time and the will and patience to focus on that one thing while retraining my mind from jumping onto the next.
Slow it down, that is what the voices in my head are screaming at me. The anxiety is quietly trying to rise to the surface and the logical part is fighting to be in the moment. I can’t enjoy today if my mind is racing toward tomorrow. So, note to self and to anyone reading. Stay calm. It will all work out and it will all get done. The choice you have to make though, is will you make it miserable dreading each and every moment or will you stomp your feet, cross your arms and be where you are completely not allowing time to steal the only moment you really have?
Now get moving, there’s still a lot to do!