I hope this post finds you all well and still basking in the glow of a holiday spent surrounded by loved ones, drinking hot cocoa with marshmallows and that your house is decked and ready for your Better Homes and Gardens photo shoot… Ok, so if you are like me and that just sounds like a bunch of crap, then I just hope you are sane and will remain that way after spending the next week stuck at home with your kids…
This year was a refreshing change for me. Usually Christmas brings with it a sense of dread. I start to gag when the Christmas decor is out with the Halloween candy and I start to fear gift giving. Or more so the gift getting. My past experiences have clouded my enjoyment of being the recipient of gifts. Thankfully my husband is an excellent gift giver and has great taste. I have to be careful what I ask for because usually I will get it! His love language is gift giving and our bank account generally reflects that after Christmas… Years past were a far cry from that always disappointing. I never looked forward to the holiday season and just wanted to get it over with.
This year, however, I was more than happy to see the Christmas season launch before the Halloween candy was on clearance. I had no problem seeing places decorated as I was preparing for Thanksgiving dinner? Our tree was up 2 days later. I even started a daily advent reading with my little girls (although we never finished – there is always next year) and a Jesse tree. It was just a brand new year. Why?
I think there are a few reasons but it seems that ever since I truly decided to let things go and make room for things that matter, I have been much happier, more relaxed in general and less angry. I used to be angry at all the stuff, which is weird. Why get mad at “things?” It was probably a symptom of a larger problem, that is, that I just don’t have time to deal with it all so it just got in the way. And you know how frustrating that is.
So now as we bury out from under the mountain of gifts scattered all over the house and continue to clear out what we don’t love and absolutely need, I continue to feel a sense of relief. I know that if I lost all of my worldly goods I would be just fine. Not thrilled but fine. My goal always is to hold things lightly so if they go they don’t take a piece of me with it.
Memories of holidays spent with people we love can never be taken away. Memories of traditions and meals and gatherings stay with us for the long haul. The gifts get used up, worn out or don’t fit anymore and are forgotten. It’s our experience that counts for the long haul.
This year we participated in the pageant at church, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights, we went to Rockefeller Center to see the tree and a Christmas concert in the city and we hung up our Christmas cards and lit advent candles. We went to my parents for French onion soup as we always do and Christmas dinner was prime rib. The things that make our celebrations special are rarely the gifts. Most years I can’t remember what I received the year before nor what I gave! The joy is found in shared moments, celebrations and traditions. Being grateful and knowing what you are celebrating is grounding. Knowing that the greatest gift has already been given. The rest of us are now off the hook because NOTHING can compare. By realizing that and focusing on what is truly important, Christmas was redeemed For me this year. And hopefully forever.
I pray this post holiday season finds you basking in the joy of simply living what matters most each day. And that’s not crap 😉
Keep it simple,