My grandchildren think I'm old. I don't think I am. But still, when I look in the mirror, I'm seeing sagging cheeks and wrinkles on my neck and hands, which I prefer to think of as "wisdom lines". I remember when I turned 40 that I decided if I was going to be THAT old, then I should start using the wisdom I had gleaned throughout those years so that the next 40 years could be a little less stressful and more enjoyable.
Which takes me to Christmas. I've seen lots of Christmases--as a child, teenager, young adult, young mother, middle aged mother and now, as a grandmother. I've felt a lot of guilt during those Christmases about things I didn't do and wish I had, or things I did do and wish I hadn't. But I'm really, really tired of feeling guilty. It's no fun. So with all the wisdom I have learned over the years, and all the hope I have for many more bright tomorrows and Christmases, here are some thoughts about having a....
1. Enjoy other people's decorations - I'm in Pennsylvania in a winter wonderland of postcard beautiful snow (my daughter just had baby number 4--a girl). The house two doors down is decorated with 36 wreaths hung outside in front of every window! It is gorgeous. Should we feel guilty that we don't have any wreaths hung up, let alone lights or a tree. Nope! We're enjoying their wreaths (and enjoying that we don't have to take down 36 wreaths and find a place to store them!)
As you drive around your neighborhood, don't feel guilty. Enjoy the decorations, savor the lights--even the traffic lights. I love to see the red and green traffic lights at night during December, they're so Christmas-y.
2. Enjoy the humor. I just received a text that said, "Here is a letter _______ wrote to Santa today: Dear Santa, two of the kids in my class don't believe in u. Can u please put coal in their stockings. Their names r Sienna and Jake. (Names changed to protect the innocent, and so Santa can't find them!)
Find humor in the car as you drive (yeah, very dificult, I know). As I've been driving grandchildren around this week (and getting lost every single time), I have noticed that in between the streets, there are these cute little side streets called alleys (they don't look like AZ alleys) and they all have the name of vegetables! There is carrot alley, leek alley, tomato alley, artichoke alley. I find it hilarious.
3. Enjoy the food. You don't have to make all the holiday treats you read about on every blog you look at or from every person you talk to. Just pick one treat you have time to make or that your family likes. Then savor and enjoy eating it. I have the hardest time eating slow. But I'm going to try and saaavvvvvoorrrrr my food this season instead of gulping it down. My goal is to drink hot chocolate and watch the falling snow, which I should stop typing and do right this minute!
4. Enjoy your children and husband and family. Listen to your children--look at their cute little faces. Try to figure out what makes them tick. My daughter said she finally realized that if one of her daughters didn't get to bed by a certain time, she would have a melt down every night. Her daughter just couldn't cope, be obedient or make any rational decisions if she was too tired. Sidenote: last night we were trying to get the kids in bed on time and my daughter was making silent gestures at me to remind me we needed to get so and so in bed on time. My granddaughter noticed and said, "Mom, I don't do that anymore."
Love your husband and make memories. Find out what his love language is: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time or physical touch. Then be sure and tell him what YOURS is.
5. Enjoy Christmas shopping. If you're not done shopping, try shopping online this year. Or try going first thing in the morning. Make it fun: hum or listen to Christmas music while you drive to the store, suck on a candy cane in the car, feel grateful, grateful, grateful. Above all: don't feel guilty because you kow of others who are done.
Those are my ideas. If you have any other ideas on how to enjoy the Holiday Season, please leave a comment.
Thanks for reading,