A quiet Christmas

It’s a quiet moment in our house. A rare piece of time especially given the chaotic couple of weeks we’ve had with varying degrees of cold and flu, and emotional ups and downs. I’m thankful that I have no more errands to run for the next few days, thankful that my babies are playing around me, and that we’re starting to see the light after two long, dark weeks.

I’m savouring the calm and warmth inside and spending some time in reflection – on the week, month, year. I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas spirit and feeling like it was a little evasive this year in the months leading up to Christmas. I didn’t have a lot of time to really get into the “feeling” until this weekend, with only a couple of days left until Christmas day.

But I think that’s ok. I think I’ve finally come to terms and made peace with the idea that I’m a “time and place” kind of person. Because, really, who defines when we start feeling Christmas-y? I look at the over-commercialization of Christmas cheer that starts just barely after we swallow the last bite of Thanksgiving stuffing, and I feel like that might have something to do with creating a terribly high expectation of cheeriness…a very lofty standard that is not typically achieved in the average household on an average November/early-December day.

I’ve decided that I’m not going to tie myself to this ideal or else I’ll be setting myself up for failure and at least a couple of psychotic breaks by the time mid-December hits. If the cheer happens on its own, if I feel jingle-bell-y earlier in the season, that’s great! However, I don’t think it’s necessary, or healthy, to feel less than organized if I don’t get my cards in the mail by December 1 (or at all), or if I don’t bake my own cookies (we have a bakery that does just fine), or if I haven’t done any Christmas crafts with the kids (they’re still too young to know what’s going on anyways).

In case you need a more right-sized and achievable standard, here’s my proposed yardstick for feeling merry and bright.

Have you hugged? Kids, spouses, neighbours, mail delivery people, gas attendants. They’re all fair game…and hugging is loving, and loving is Christmas. “Hug your kids” is also the mantra after the Newtown school shootings, and I think it’s one that we’ll need to carry forward to honour the memories of the little ones who were lost.

Have you given? Whether it’s a gift, our time, a donation, an ear (for listening, not Van Gogh-style) etc. Giving is the most classic Christmas tradition. What I tried to do this year was get one very personal gift for each person on our list. Something that would remind us of a shared memory, or showed the person that I was paying attention to things they’ve said throughout the year. This helped to reduce the pressure-cooker, impulsive shopping trips, and I feel a little more relaxed because of it.

Have you eaten? If you’re eye-balling a rum ball, but you’re feeling the guilt start to creep up. Stop it. Turn off your mental calorie counter and just eat the damn rum ball. With all our focus on being healthy, we need to also lose the unhealthy guilt associated with Holiday eating. Just enjoy a few treats, appreciate the people who made them and think about all the hard work that you put into staying healthy and active throughout the year.

And, that’s it. You may think it’s overly simplistic, and the bah-humbuggers will scoff. But these are the little things that made me feel warm these last couple of days.

A Christmas wish

This will be my last post before Christmas so I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who started tuning in to my new blog two months ago. I hope you have a simply lovely Christmas with your families and loved ones, and that all is merry and bright for you as you look towards 2013.

P.S. If you like this e-greeting, feel free to share it around with “Quill and Curio blog” as the reference. Cheers! 😉

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