I love Christmas. I love the holidays, the happiness, the warm glow of twinkle lights.
A child of the ’70s, I even love the commercialization. In my day, you knew Christmas time was near when the K-Tel Holiday Record Collection advertisements began running on television. For my children, it is holiday-shaped Ritz crackers. I just think you can’t get enough red dye and peppermint this time of year.
That said, this is the first holiday season that I haven’t really been on top of my Sleigh Game. I usually love every facet of “creating the Christmas Experience.” This year I had to outsource an awful lot of the elf duties, which I am still getting used to.
The truth is, I gave my Wonder Elves — one boy, one girl — duties and tasks and they rose to the occasion admirably. Gifts were procured, presents were wrapped, cookies are being prepared even as I type.
BoyWonder, left to his own devices, cleaned the house so well that I’m thinking of letting him drop out and just work as a live-in maid for us forever. Who needs Honor Roll when you have a shiny sink and clutter free mudroom, am I right?
Meanwhile, by the time you read this, the wrapping paper — and at least one tag or receipt you will really need — will have been thrown away. The leftovers will have morphed from tasty to trash.
The candy will be down to the weird chocolates that no one likes (I’m talking to you jelly-filled despair bombs lurking in the chocolate sampler). We will swear that if we never hear Baby It’s Cold Outside or Santa Baby again it will still be too soon.
After a season that for most of us was gluttony in eating and spending — I speak for myself here — we will enter the season of fitness and thrift. We will stock up on plastic storage totes (clutter coffins) and swear we are going to clean up figuratively and literally.
This year, my resolution is this: relax.
We spend so much time worrying about things that will probably never happen, that I think we miss what is happening right in front of us.
I’m not saying we don’t have plenty to worry about. If you are alive and love anything — you worry. What I do want is to go into the New Year with a new appreciation for what some of my resolutions really mean.
I need to lose weight? Yes. I do. After losing 30-some pounds, I found them all again. That was not my plan, but nonetheless that is what happened. Instead of getting all worked up, I’m just going to assume that I’m living a pretty blessed good life if food is so abundant that I can afford to overeat.
Ditto all the “things” we are blessed with. One of the “trials” of my holiday season was what to buy the teenagers who have everything. While not spoiled, and hard-working for certain, both BoyWonder and GirlWonder struggled to come up with a wish list for Christmas.
They both said, wisely, “but we already HAVE everything we really want.” I was both proud — and exasperated. When your 17-year-old says with complete sincerity that he can only think that he maybe could use some socks and underwear — you are probably doing something RIGHT.
Bills to pay? In our case it pays for food and lights and household repairs. So we have a home, and food (see weight gain, above).
I prefer to make “Suggestions.” I am going to work to be healthier, financially and physically. I am going to suggest to myself that I can — and should — do more with less.
We are blessed with so many people and so much privilege that even if we don’t have exactly what we always want, we do have what we always need.
In 2015, I hope we can relax, appreciate and slow down and enjoy it.
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