So, it’s mid-December; the crunch is on. I’ve got three young children and feel the need to make the holiday happen – there are expectations to be met, and traditions to be upheld; even as the cosmic ground shifts beneath us, as the world begins to change. (I’m sure you feel it).
Things are also busy at the Studio. The number of students this time of year is a little low, but there are gift packages to put together, the Winter Solstice celebration, gearing up for coming events.
I have come to the point in life where I realize (a little late, I might add) that I matter, too. My experience of the holiday counts. What do I want?
I want to bake LOTS of cookies – pecan tassies, Russian teacakes, sugar cookies, candy-cane cookies, mmmmmmm . . . . (always my soft spot). I want to decorate the tree – my way (loads of not matching ornaments, colorful lights; Martha Stewart would NOT approve). I want to spent time with friends, having tea, catching up. I want to purchase gifts that are meaningful and useful (and I want to do it quickly and efficiently; I do NOT want to spend time shopping).
I want to ponder the birth of Jesus; spend time exploring my relationship with him and the Blessed Mother; and continue to reconcile the wonder of His divine love to my life, as I live it, today.
This Thanksgiving, I made a plan. And a resolution. Need to simplify . . . so I decided not to send holiday cards this year.
They have always hung over my head, year after year. I was thinking, how great to have no pressure to produce a perfect photograph (okay, any REASONABLE photograph) of my three children. No pressure to locate the cards left over from last year (um, seriously; where are they? I’m a logical person; but why, oh why, aren’t they in my Christmas box?) No pressure to write our names over and over; no pressure to jot a note, or to write one of those little newsletter things.
Such a relief to let go of one more holiday requirement – er, um, I mean, tradition.
But now, cards from friends and family have begun to arrive in our mail.
And I’m so grateful to receive them! Beautiful photographs of my friends and their children. It is wonderful to see those babies growing and changing from year to year. And my friends, too! Not so young, but just as beautiful as ever. They are happy; they are well; they are living their lives, unfolding in their purpose. It is joyful to read even the the most brief of updates.
So now, at the last minute, I am re-thinking my plan. How can I repay these people for the happiness, the joy, the news that they have sent to me?
I think, perhaps — maybe — I’ll just send a couple cards – a select few.
So — how do I choose???
Some cards come from my oldest and dearest friends; I never want to break that link. Some come from new friends. Those who know me as I am now are just as precious.
I glance at the calendar; there’s a little break in my schedule in February!
Perhaps, I’ll send Valentines.
I hope that you enjoy the blessings of the season.
If your heart feels hard, give even the smallest gift to someone in need. There is no greater blessing than to be able to give.