Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Cheers and jubilations!
I’m popping in to your busy lives during the holidays, with a brief message, a heart full of love and a house full of family. All are snoozing while I sip my coffee and write. So this one’s for you.
My house is the customary gathering place for holiday celebrations. This is often highly stressful for me because not only must I plan, shop for and prepare the festive foods to be eaten but I must also keep the house in order, no small task when you are sleeping numerous additional guests plus your own family.
I have attempted a new strategy this time.
Normally I am filled with internal chaos as I create lists and run around accomplishing that TO DO list. Sound familiar? This year I decided it didn’t matter so much if the house wasn’t “just right with all surfaces, washed wiped & disinfected within an inch of their lives.” I am Dutch. Normally I can’t help cleaning. But there were so many lovely moments to be had with family instead, that I let my disinfecting slide. That magical snowfall on Christmas Day with puffy white flakes slowly drifting to earth, literally screamed “memory making time!”
We needed to get outside for a walk in Nature’s magic. Grayson got a chance to use her new Paw Patrol shovel. We jumped on the trampoline. We walked in the woods. There was a classic Canadian moment with an outdoor skate on a pond, hockey sticks and touques on full display. Inside there was a fire to be built, Christmas cookies to be made and the piano to be played, all of these courtesy of my daughters. Everywhere I looked there were magical moments and I didn’t want to miss a single one.
We topped up our wine glasses and sampled the many moments of Christmas that only seem to happen this time of year. I put my cleaning obsession on hold and went with the flow. While my daughters might still have said I needed to “sit down and chill the heck (they used another word) out.” And that time when they thought I was totally nuts because I simply had to vacuum after gift opening, I thought I did pretty well. I was only mildly stressed about the fact that it was 2:00 pm on Christmas Day and I still hadn’t set the holiday table for fourteen. Still, I was much better about it all.
The takeaway was, others can help. I don’t need to control it all. I may have wanted to create a wildly elaborate Christmas table, using white gloves to handle the silverware and glasses and a ruler to measure out the place settings – just kidding!! But I relaxed into just letting it flow. There were plenty of family members available to handle the table, the wine, the serving and the clean up. I enjoyed letting go. Heck I even enjoyed a Christmas dance on the day!
The moment for enjoying is the one we are in right now, this very minute. Giving yourself permission to be fully in the moment is the best gift of all. The experience of life, celebration or not, becomes much deeper and richer when we allow ourselves to taste, touch, see every detail of the now. Being present in your true self to enjoy the simplest moments is the stuff of next year’s memories.
Take the time to be present today. Fully. Completely. (thanks Gord Downie)
I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.
I will be in my pj’s until noon – the Christmas ones i am wearing now – enjoying every minute.
Thank you for letting me into your lives by following my blog and commenting. I promise, in 2019 I will be much more active and present for you, right here. Things are changing. You will see.
PS. I have no intention of vacuuming anything today. I meant it.
PSS. How are you spending Boxing Day? How do you stay present?
As wonderful as Christmas day is, Boxing Day is the day I most look forward to most. It’s the one day a year when I actually do find it easy to relax. I usually don’t get dressed, I DEFINITELY don’t leave the house and I eat Christmas Eve scraps for dinner. I’ll probably binge watch something ridiculous in between napping as well.