Now, before you call me Scroogette please know that I adore the holiday season just as much as the next Who...well, most of it, anyway. The getting together with old and new friends, holiday parties (and holiday party duds!!), toasting to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year with your favorite people, giving gifts to show your love and good cheer, Christmas trees, ornaments, bayberry candles, Christmas dinner and eggnog parts I just love. As for all of the whole hustle and bustle thing...not so much. So much "not so much" that a couple of years back I decided to say "thank you, but no thank you" to that part.
As an ex-retail professional of many years and someone who has worked in my share of service industries (restaurant biz, etc) much of the holiday season lost it's shine to me many moons ago. And, even though I'm no longer part of that particular rat-race in quite the same way, I still am not one bit interested in jumping back into the yuletide frenzy. Instead, these days I try to make a conscience decision to stay even-keeled during the month of December and just let things sorta flow.
Don't get me wrong...the holiday mayhem undertow is still very strong in my world, and not a December day goes by without it trying to pull me down with it; the commercial Christmas frenzy surrounds and abounds, for sure! Yesterday, for instance, while I was have my yearly check-up my physician's opening question to me was, "So, are you ready for Christmas?" My reply was something like, "Ummmmm, as ready as I'll ever be, I suppose." We kind of chuckled together (she's super cool, btw) and I followed it up with "I don't do the traditional make-myself-crazy Christmas stuff anymore. I've learned that it's gonna come whether I'm ready for it or not, so I just let it flow in when it arrives and then right back out when it's over." She said, "You're smart. Even though there's only two weeks before Christmas...you're smart." See...there you go. The "yikes" factor got thrown at me. As well-intentioned as I know her comment was...there it was. The Christmas mayhem undertow tugging at my feet. No matter...I stood firm in my calmness and I let it go.
Granted our kids are older now, which certainly makes doing the whole "go with the flow" Christmas thing much easier...no doubt. But, MAN!! Do I wish I would have had the balls to have this disposition when they were younger ...you know, so that they could have actually learned something from me - their mom - about what the season is truly all about. The truth is, though, that our kids experienced the kind of Christmases that I experienced growing up...lots of wrapped presents under the tree, house decorated to the nines, Christmas cookies baked, gingerbread house built...etc, etc. Sounds so Norman Rockwell, right? Well, the thing is that I now know that what they really, really wanted (even though it never got put on their list to Santa, per se) was to have there mom home a lot more often then I was. I know this for sure because our daughter came right out and told me this...more than once. At the time, however, I just didn't know how to step off the hamster wheel. I thought that making lots of money (not that I felt any richer at the time, mind you...actually, quite the opposite) and working really hard for lots and lots of hours was what I was supposed to do for my family. Plus, I was pretty damn good at it...so, that can make it seem easier to keep doing something, even if your heart isn't totally in it anymore. (PS - just because you're good at something DOES NOT mean that you have to or should keep doing it.) And so, to make things all better on the home front I would buy the fam lots cool of stuff. (SHM. Who was I?!)
Anyway, I'm not here to judge anyone for how they like to get their holiday on. If shopping for that impossible to find gift on your kids' lists or staying up all night baking or waiting in those crazy-long store lines or finding new hobbies for your elf on a shelf at the wee hours of the morn is your thing, then have at it! Carpe the Christmas Diem out of that shiz! BUT (and you know there's always a but), if you're feeling the way that I used to feel this time of year - which was drained, depleted, exhausted, preoccupied, edgy, bitter, and overall far from jolly - then please listen when I say this:
STOP IT! Seriously, friends...just stop it! You don't have to buy into all of the holiday busy BS if it's not what you truly want in your heart of hearts for you and your family. I'm here as living proof to tell you that you have a choice! And that your family will be so, so fine without all of the holiday commercialism drama if you choose to remove it. And that you will still be very, VERY loved and adored by those who are most important to you and your world even if you don't have that impossible-to-find gift under the tree for them and the Christmas cookies never got baked. AND...that there is a beautifully calm life in the slower lane of December. (By the way, there's a lot less traffic over here.)
Happiest and healthiest of holidays to you and yours!
Peace, Love and Ommmmm Always,
PS - If you're already knee deep in holiday frenzy this season, check out The Happy Om-maker's Seasonal Specials. Designed to add some Christmas ommmmmm back into your home.