Saturday, December 3, 2016
How are things at your house? The count down to Christmas is getting intense. I know there are some of you who had everything in place for the holiday before Thanksgiving. Or, you wrapped up your preparations over the Thanksgiving weekend. I am not one of you. I imagine there are many of you who, like me, will stumble through Advent and limp into Christmas, getting some things done along the way and leaving other things in the "Well, it was a nice thought" category.
I told someone last night that my secret to "getting it all done" was lowering my expectations. Way lower. And that's okay. If you are like me, the expectations are mostly self-imposed anyway.
The photo-a-day Advent project a couple of years ago was a truly meaningful exercise for me. When it was announced this year, I thought about it. For two seconds. It was meaningful because it required much more thought than I had anticipated. And this year I know I cannot be that focused. Instead I am taking part in Project Peace, a knitting project sponsored by The Healthy Knitter with over 15,000 participants world-wide. It is a simple exercise in mindfulness. With knitting.
I love sending Christmas cards with a family photo. But this year when the grandchildren were here for Thanksgiving, Little Sister was still broken out in hives all over her face from her illness and Baby Girl cried much of that week with an ear infection. So no grandchildren photo happened. My holiday expectations dropped another notch. And that's okay. The list of things-not-done is growing.
Certainly there are many things that will get done. But they will be chosen carefully. We are already opening the doors on our Advent calendar. That means a lot to us. I might not decorate our lamp post. I'm not sure anyone would notice. Maybe instead of "lowered expectations" I should say we are having a "curated Christmas" Participating in things carefully selected to enhance the season. I am sifting through the events, the recipes, and the traditions and deciding which ones will make us feel better and not feel pressured.
You get the idea. I plan to do what I can, what is meaningful, and truly not worry about the rest. By December 27, no one will remember if there was greenery on the mantle. Or, whether or not I pulled out the Christmas mugs. We will remember that we were together. We will remember laughter. We will remember that we could feel the love.