Today I went downtown to meet two friends for a quick Christmas coffee and bit of cheer. We met for 30 minutes and though I had a ton to do, it was worth every minute. Yesterday I drove all the way to Berkeley just to have a birthday lunch for a dear friend. It was so fun I am still thinking about it and wish it lasted longer.
Everyone has somewhere to be right now and a million things to do before the big man comes. I personally freak out about now. That is ensuing. My Christmas cards just came today -(I ordered late), and I realized I have yet to select/send the gifts for our relatives and friends that are far away. A holiday open house is coming on the weekend and tonight a bunco holiday party and an exchange with the nicest girls. Gifts and stockings for fam are not done. Baking should happen today as soon as I get up the motivation to brave the grocery store. I have piles of laundry stacked on the machine, dishes and other chores and yet I went today and yesterday.
Are you feeling the same? Breathe in now if you are in this same situation. Cue the holiday tunes. That makes me feel good. Fall back on the no gift just good tidings when you can. Nobody needs more things. Getting together can be enough. You don’t HAVE to bake for the neighbors. It’s okay NOT to write in the holiday cards. Maybe you’ll even skip the baking or the cards? Some gifts and cards will arrive late.. This is not the end of the world.
This week something tragic brought all this stuff to a halt in my mind. A man was struck and killed right around the corner from my home. He was going to his car and helping someone with their Christmas lights. It was a freak accident we still don’t know how happened, but it happened right at our elementary school and just when Kindergarten was getting out. A horrible tragedy and maybe or not caused by people rushing about during this time. We still do not know all the facts. What we do know is that we are all so lucky to be here and this man is not. I cannot stop thinking about him and his family this week. How very fortunate we are to be in the world right now.
Find the things that make the holiday time happy for you and make them a priority. Is it baking? Watching a holiday film? My kids have to have an Elf movie night and I have to see It’s a Wonderful Life and The Christmas Carol with George C. Scott. I have to crack open my dear mother’s Betty Crocker Christmas Cooky Book (Yes that is the spelling), and make Ethel’s Sugar Cookies. We will have a drive through Willow Glen and see all the homes dressed up with lights. That is Christmas to me. Those things make my heart happy.
Let things go. Take time to sit on the couch, put your feet up and have some tea. Meet friends for a cappuccino even if you have things to do. If you have to not cook dinner some nights them do it. Do what brings you joy and you’ll find the charm of this season. It’s okay to buy less and also not to make everyone dreams come true gift wise. I already told my boys they are getting clothes they need, gift cards and a little cash. Not anything else.
When I really think about it, I put the expectations on myself more than anyone else does. I want things to be just so. I want everything to be amazing for my family, but truthfully my family would enjoy me more if I was just present and happy. Maybe you are doing the same to yourself. Ask yourself this if you are getting that panicked feeling.
I feel like each year I get a little wiser. Time and being present seems more precious and valuable than anything else. Maybe you all have already figured this out.
Wishing you a little of that magic feeling in your heart right now.