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After Thanksgiving

November 30, 2014

tree & mantelWell, here in the US, Thanksgiving is a memory and we’re rushing toward Christmas. It’s that time of year when we try too hard to cram too much into too little time. While I love the parties and sharing good wishes with friends and family, I can’t help but wish we could all slow down and savor each experience instead of dashing off to the next one. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is to whittle down our “to do” list.

One item on my list is addressing Christmas cards. This should be pure joy. It is, after all, wishing peace and happiness to the people about whom I care the most. For some of them, it is the only contact I have from year to year. They are former neighbors, distant relatives, old friends – people who at one time I probably saw on an almost daily basis, but our lives have taken different paths and the relationships have faded. That doesn’t lessen their importance. I firmly believe we’re all a composite of the people and ideas we’ve been exposed to over the course of our lives. A note in a card at holiday time is a small way of keeping the connection alive – definitely not an item to take off the list.Isolated giftboxes

Then there’s shopping. I’m not a “shop ’til you drop” person, but there’s no way to eliminate at least a trip or two to the shops this time of year. I know, checks are an option and are appreciated, but I still like to have a little something extra for my favorite people to unwrap. (I admit this is probably more for my pleasure than theirs.)

chocolate chip cookiesCooking – I’m not a great cook, but I do love to bake and cookies are one thing I’m not about to give up.

Decorating – Who can resist decking the halls! Besides, green is my favorite color.

Housecleaning – (the less said about this the better.) Still, even I want my house to sparkle to show off those decked halls.

Parties – Another item I’m not prepared to scratch off the list.

So, as much as I say I want the world to slow down and savor the season, I have to face the fact that there’s no mysterious “they” to blame; I’m the one who makes my life so busy. The solution? Take a deep breath. Relax. Enjoy the bustle. Try to remember why I’m doing each of these things, how blessed I am to have people in my life to do them for and how lucky that my resources allow it.

How about you? What are your holidays like? How do you manage to keep the stress down?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sydell Voeller permalink
    December 2, 2014 10:13 AM

    Sandy, I agree with every point you’ve listed. I’ve often thought, too, that I’d try to eliminate just one task, but then realized it should be a privilege, not a task. So, instead, we reflect on the season and continue to give thanks.

  2. December 11, 2014 2:34 AM

    Hi Sandy–
    I’ve tried to lighten the stress at Christmastime too. Then I realized there wasn’t anything I wanted to stop doing 🙂 You are right: Take a deep breath when you can. Try to relax when you can. And just enjoy the bustle.

    • December 11, 2014 9:11 AM

      Thanks for stopping by, Victoria. As for enjoying the bustle, I think that’s how memories are made. When I look back, those are the times I remember. Merry Christmas to you and those you love.

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