I had a friend say we should get together once we "get through" the holidays.
I know what she meant. There are a ton of kids' activities- concerts, etc. Parties. Gifts to get. Decorations to put up. Cookies to bake. For me, business deadlines to meet.
There's a lot going on.
But I don't like to "get through" anything.
I hated that our house build this year felt like something we suffered through versus something we enjoyed. I hated that because of all the hurdles we had to jump through we never got to savor the process until the very, very end. It was rush to do this. Rush to pick this out. Rush to turn in this requirement for the mortgage. Rush to sign this document.
Our new neighbors are Indian and they didn't move into their house for a week for the soul purpose of respecting the land and the animals that had lived there before. They blessed every doorway and praised every god.
We got the keys, had painters there in 20 minutes and started bringing our crap in.
We didn't really have time to savor the moment.
It bothered us. We are still, in some ways, unwinding from the process.
So this holiday season we said no more than yes. Actually, all year, I've been saying no more than yes. I quit a book group I'd been in for more than 15 years. I dropped off some committees. I opted to not get too terribly involved in the kids' schools.
I stopped trying to "get through" life. Very consciously.
I understand what my friend meant- completely. But the holidays are a BEAUTIFUL time. You get to see people. The music is hopeful. The decorations are breathtaking. You get to dress up. You get to eat amazing food that you don't eat all year. For a few days the world sorta stops. My kids are home. My daughter has her birthday.
It's all good.
And this year, unfortunately, there are a few people that I adore that won't be here next year. The miracles have sadly played out. That's probably why I'm a little more defensive about quality over quantity this year.
A few years ago my husband's uncle was diagnosed with cancer right before Christmas. We dialed down the Christmas celebration. Two months later it was his father that had died.
We looked left. Life took a right.
Please, this year, don't try to get through the holidays. Enjoy them. Enjoy every last stinking drop of them.
You never know when it's your last one.
You have a choice in life- to suffer through or to savor every moment.
I hope this holiday season you choose to savor the moments.
You will never remember the gifts, how the turkey tasted, who came the party and who didn't--
You will remember the feeling.
Make it one of love and not stress.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from my family to yours.