In my last post I talked about how I had learned to say NO, and how good it felt. Now let's talk about saying YES, and how good that can feel.
The holidays are upon us. First comes Halloween, closely followed by Thanksgiving, and then Christmas comes rushing in like a whirlwind with all its traditions, madness and overcrowded days. Sometimes I feel like hiding until it's all over. It's not that I don't love the holidays, it's just that I get caught up in the busyness of decorations, food, gifts, traditions and worldly expectations to have everything "perfect" and to do it all. Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook give a trillion cute, cute ideas to do and I want to do them all.
I've learned an important truth, though, and it has been my children that have taught it to me. When they reminisce about holiday traditions, sometimes they'll mention things we use to do as a family when they were young that they remember us doing every year, like going to the mountains to cut our own Christmas tree. But guess what? We didn't do that every year. In fact, we only did it 3-4 times.
What does this mean to you and me? We can have cherished traditions, but we can space them out without losing their traditional feel. Do you have a tradition of going to see the zoo lights every year? It's expensive, so only go every 3 years. Do you always make and decorate Christmas cookies but this year you are dreading it? Skip it. Do it next year. Does your family love to do the 12 Days of Christmas for a secret family, but you're wondering if you have enough energy to pull it off this year? Wait for another year or two to do it, so it will become fun and exciting again.
I don't have a lot of storage space in my home, so I have limited my Christmas decorations to 4 large plastic tubs. But, of course, more decorations have slowly been spreading out and gaining more momentum and filling up other shelves and closets. Last year I didn't put up several decorations and didn't miss them. This year I'm thinking of decluttering some of my decorations. I inherited a gorgeous collection of tall, Victorian Santa Clauses that take up a lot of space to display. Then I also have a collection of Nativity scenes. So when both collections are brought out to display with all the other decorations, I literally start to feel claustrophobic.
I've had a stern talking to with myself and decided I'm really going to limit my decorations this year. I'm only going to put up my 3 most favorite Santas and only 3-5 of the Nativities. When you have a small house like mine, you really should simplify. So I'm going to.
Wait, I started out by saying I was going to talk about saying YES. But it sounds like I'm saying NO to a lot of things such as decorations and traditions. In actuality, I am saying to myself, "YES, you may have a simple, meaningful, spiritual, family holiday this year, and this is how you will do it. You may choose 3 traditions you like the most (or you may start 1 new one) and you may choose your most loved decorations to put up. You will say YES to empty unscheduled blocks of time during the days and weeks so that you may say YES to unexpected things that come up or to people that need your help. You will say YES to enjoying being with family and friends because you are not rushed and frenzied trying to do it all and be it all to everyone.
Ah.....it feels so good to say YES!
Thanks for reading,