Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Grown-Up's Christmas

If you are older than about 18, and begin to "do" Christmas (i.e. be in charge of more than your own enjoyment), I believe a portion of it will be stressful.  No matter what.

Am I the only one who gets stressed by the pressure to try to find a sense of calm and holiness in the mad dash and feels guilty that it's not-so-calming?  The pressure to make it magical and holy?  I'm not talking about Santa vs. Happy Birthday Jesus debates.  I just mean, even by trying to make it quiet and intentional and fun, it's still gonna push my limits.

Because I am the same person in the month of December that I am all year long.  But with extra responsibilities, obligations, travel, and money spent.

So unless I say no to every single solitary event, purchase, and memory-making opportunity, I'm going to feel a level of stress.

This is a personal revelation.

I can be proactive and budget for gifts and buy them throughout the year. Or run around like a crazy person like I have every other year.  I can create traditions that embrace the incarnation and the whimsy of childhood memories.  I can cook and clean and host.

And then, when that's done, I can be.

Be in the moment.

The moment a little girl clutches her dolls, a boy starts up his race track, and toddler rolls past on her scooter.

The moment my daughter lifts her lit candle during "Silent Night".

A second later, I'm plunged back into the ordinary.

But that's okay.  That's Christmas.  That's life.

Light piercing the darkness.

So, I didn't have the perfect Christmas.  But this side of eternity, I had a good one.  A real one, with frustrations and fun all mixed together.

I have 11 months to recover. Then I'll be ready to do it again.

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