Well, the Christmas season is fully upon us, and when I see the strained and drained faces in the shops, the “most wonderful time of the year” can get pretty stressful. I remember those days; time seemed to slip through my fingers. I rushed to buy or make gifts; wrap them, ship them, get my cards out before Christmas, make my eatable gifts and distribute them, and so on. Even in my sleep I was crossing off what I had to do.
But now that I’m older, I don’t do all that. This time of year has become a cozy and comforting time, calling back the magic of the season I felt as a child. I allow myself time and space to go choose gifts for friends and family and these days, I don’t feel rushed any more.
It took a lot of years to realize that all that hustle and bustle was mainly in my own head. No one was holding a whip over me to do all that I did; I put it all on myself. Thankfully, with years comes wisdom, or maybe it’s just a case of “shoot—I’m just not going to do this anymore.”
Besides, Christmas is far more than gifts and cards and so-and-so’s special fruit cake. It’s a time to think of Christmases past, friends, relatives and pets who were dearly loved and have passed on. It’s a time to appreciate the NOW: family members; new and old, friends; new and old; the new pet who is nothing like the old pet but is dearly loved just the same.
It’s a time to remember and also look forward to what is to come. Certainly Christmas is not what it used to be, but how wonderful it is to embrace the Christmas now in this year? Personally, I feel that each Christmas has a message for us to listen and attend to; it could be a reminder of the reason for the season. It could be a realization that maybe it’s time to let go of old resentments and hurts. It might the right time to pass on grandmother’s prized ruby ring, or Auntie’s beautiful set of dishes.
How about this Christmas we just enjoy the people, places and circumstances of where we are now in our lives? How about this Christmas that we make new traditions? We can decide to donate all those winter coats we never use to a homeless shelter. We can go through our jewelry, knick-knacks, clothing and donate them to a nursing home so that the people there will enjoy a surprise on Christmas morning.
Animal shelters are always in need of funds, food and bedding. It’s a good time to go through our sheets, towels, blankets, etc. and bring them to a shelter to warm the animals there. The shelters also may like donations of cat and dog toys. These are things that become a present to ourselves; we have been given much and it’s good to give.
How about this year we don’t take part in the “Christmas Crazy?” As my late mom would say, “I’m up with that!” She never said the usual “I’m down with that;” she felt it was too negative.
I’m up with that, too. Enjoy the season, the people and the magic.