Christmas. . . Is It the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?
I had to laugh when I saw this card in a shop a couple of weeks ago because I could totally relate! You know when you see the perfect card and you buy four of them because you know all the people that you need to give it too. I love that feeling when you laugh to yourself -- knowing that when your friend opens it, they will die laughing and look at you and say "YES"! It's the best feeling because you know you got the perfect card that just says it all! SCORE!
But what about Christmas? People say it's the most wonderful time of year, but is it really? I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. I love it through the eyes of my daughter. I love it when I am going to see holiday lights, when I hear holiday music and watching a Christmas movie. I love spending time with my family and friends, and I love it when I find the perfect card or gift. What I don't love is the expectations of Christmas and all the gift giving. Now don't get me wrong, I love giving gifts! I actually get a thrill out of buying gifts for people and finding the right gift. I think it's just all the buying of ALL the gifts when it all just becomes too much. It all has to be done and finished in a certain time frame and it literally becomes a race. The clock is ticking, and it has got to get done. You try to find the right balance of gifts versus the overabundance of gifts versus let's just not do gifts to let's just do stocking stuffers.
Recently Jeff and I went away for the weekend at the beginning of December instead of buying each other gifts. Will I miss not opening gifts from Jeff this year? Probably not. Because in the end I probably wouldn't remember what he bought me, but I will remember our weekend together. I'll remember sitting on the porch and having cocktails, I'll remember the town all decorated for the holidays, I'll remember waking up in the morning and going on a hike and getting a latte and shopping at the holiday bazaar. Those are the details that give meaning to my life, not another gift card to my favorite store. I'll appreciate the gift card, but what I would rather have from my family and friends is their time. And as I get older, time gets more precious and there never seems like there is enough time with the people that you love and want to be with. I want time to slow down. I want more time to watch all the holiday movies. I want time to take a nap and snuggle on the couch. I want to laugh at silly things and put a Santa hat on our dog. I don't want to be stuck in the mall or in the kitchen for hours, I want a day without a schedule or a place to be.
So instead of the expectation of gifts and perfection, I am craving simplicity and gratitude. I don't know if this kind of Christmas wish is possible, but I am hoping over time we can figure out a way to simplify Christmas as least in my family any way. It is now three days to go until the big day. So, for tonight I am going to put away my computer, sit by the fire with my husband, daughter and of course our dog and watch a Christmas movie. When Sophie goes to bed, we will watch The Family Stone like we have been planning on doing for the last several nights. And I will stop and actually enjoy the moment. I'll deal with the list of things I need to do tomorrow.
Merry Christmas everyone!!