I think I'll work on our Christmas cards. Nope, I should wrap the gift that needs to be taken to the post office. What I would really love to do is work on the next chapter for my book, but first there is a meeting I need to prepare for. Do I have the ingredients for cherry walnut bread? The smell of that baking would be divine, but I haven't even thought about doing any entertaining before Christmas, and here it is December 10th.
Yes, here it is December 10th, 2015, and you would think with all the past Christmases under my belt, I would not feel quite so rushed, so scattered. You would think that by the time I entered my 60's, heck, late 60's, I would have learned to relax and to remember, quoting my husband's frequent solution, "Somehow it all gets done."
When we were raising our family, the month between Christmas and New Year's was loaded with events--going to see Santa, hosting Sunday evening Advent suppers in our home, attending school concerts and holiday work and neighborhood parties, including our own. We squeezed a lot into a short period of time. You remember, I am sure, the late nights wrapping presents and the rushed trips to the grocery store because you were out of almond extract for the cookies you were baking.
My body seems to remember that frenzied feeling, that need to create a "perfect" Christmas, and an alarm is ringing in my head. Do. Rush. Check the lists. Get going. Help! 15 Days and it is Christmas.
Now, however, the pace is slower, more self-directed, and I definitely don't have to do it all. There are not nearly the number of presents to buy as there were in the past. We no longer exchange gifts with many friends, agreeing there is little we need, other than each other's friendship and companionship. Bruce and I have agreed to spend an afternoon at a good independent bookstore and buy each other a pile of books and then go out for dinner. Perfect.
So how is it I really want to spend these days and is there anything that is preventing me from doing just that? Yes, I have presents left to buy, and yes, our Christmas cards haven't yet gone in the mail, but they are a work in progress, and they will be sent. No, I haven't done any baking yet, but this weekend looks like a good time to do that and who needs to eat all those cookies anyway? As for entertaining, well, the house will be full of family a couple different times, and how about some dates the week after Christmas. That would work.
Now is the time, the best time, to take a breath. A deep, long breath of awareness and presence. Now is the, time to move into the living room where I can read and perhaps write in the glow of Christmas lights. Now is the time, especially since the weather is unseasonably warm, to walk the sidewalks of my beloved neighborhood. Now is the time to honor the gifts of the season, the gifts of this time of my life.
What is it time for in your life? I would love to know.