And so it is “that time of year” again. This year, we have done some home renovations. We signed papers to start these renovations in June, but here we are in December not yet completed. So frustrating! But, having my home a bit “under construction” over the holidays does make me ponder. What is it that makes this time of year special? What decorations have to be done? What gifts have to be purchased? What cookies have to be baked? I’m a home made holidays kinda girl most of the time. I don’t want a bunch of store bought stuff on my table or on my tree. But, why? Who is the one who cares? Who is the one who appreciates the efforts?
This year, I am thinking about “opportunity costs”. If I bake something from scratch, what am I missing…a breakfast with a cousin, a tennis match, a walk with the dog, a nap? I am trying to determine what makes Christmas happen at my house. Is it just a calendar day or is it John’s wedding soup? I am trying to figure out….what matters???
As I ponder this, here is one thing I’ve become certain of. Perhaps you have, too. Or perhaps you need to read it here. Don’t do anything without the relish! If it ain’t fun…skip it. This is the first year in sooo long that I’m not sending Christmas cards. I have a few aunts and uncles to whom I like to send a card and a picture of my kids. Maybe they look forward to this card. Or maybe they wonder what to do with the picture. I dunno really. But, I’ve done this for 22 years, I think. And this year I am not relishing the thought of finding a good group photo of my kids and copying it and sending it. Perhaps I’ll send New Year’s cards instead. Perhaps in January, when the kiddies are all back at school, I will relish finding the right photo. Or, perhaps, I’ll just skip this year. Pretty sure the earth will keep spinning.
I also realize that just because other people are apathetic about something, that doesn’t mean I have to be. Maybe nobody in my house cares if I put garland on the fireplace mantle. But, it matters to me. I relished in the task! The ol’ garland should probably be replaced. Maybe it’s time for new stocking holders. But, I still love my old worn stuff. Every night when I see it, it makes me smile.
Take some time to really do what you love this holiday season. Ya, that’s been said before, but heed the words this time. Bake up a storm…if you like to bake! Shop til you drop…if you love the crowds! Sing to Bing til your throat is hoarse…if you dream of a white Christmas! But there is nothing that makes us all Grinchier than feeling forced to make this holiday into something that isn’t special to us.
Finally, remember the reason for the season. So cliche’, right? But, in the words of TSO, “Christmas stays if we don’t forget it’s meaning….And so it’s good that we remember, just as soon as we’ve discovered, that the things we do in life will always end up touching others.” Keep the traditions that have meaning to you and yours. Ditch the others, and spend your time relishing your family, your friends, the snow, the hot chocolate. I’ll be spending hours baking and constructing gingerbread houses. Why? Because it brings my kids and their friends into my house for a few blessed hours. And the laughter of your own children… Now, that’s the Christmas spirit. Relish it!