It seems that no matter where we are at this time of the year many are beginning to feel stress, exhaustion, lack of energy, lack of enthusiasm and a minor bit of panic. I tip my hat to those who come through the holiday season unscathed and calm. In some cases it is because you have learned to let others do the work for you…I know a few like that or you truly have found a way to be at peace with all the frantic rushing around and crass commercialism either ignoring it or accepting it.
I think I am somewhere between ignoring it and accepting it. After 60 plus years of participating and watching the yearly frenzy as well as being a willing participant in creating my own holiday from hell, I can wax philosophical and say “it is what it is…because we make it what it is.”
Disappointment at Christmas is not the end of the world. One less dozen cookies will not change Hallmark’s approach to Christmas. Spending less will hurt the stores bottom line but not mine. Not having the perfect tree or the most beautifully decorated house in the neighborhood isn’t going to stop December 25 from arriving. So what is the use?
I say that not as a cynical question but as a realistic one. Do what is realistic for you. Do what brings you joy. Do what serves a greater good than simple aesthetics or unrealistic expectations.
Christmas is a time to learn that what we expect isn’t always what we get; and yet, what we get may be so much greater than we ever expected if we have the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the heart to understand.
One recent Christmas I spent the day in the Emergency Room with my daughter. Fortunately, she was not experiencing something life threatening just something to make her feel awful and in need of medical attention. While I sat there I realized that there was another whole world I never see on Christmas day. Doctors, nurses, aids, janitors, secretaries all working to keep people alive and healthy. None of them acted like this was a big inconvenience for them. Working wasn’t ruining their holiday and I realized that sitting in a hospital wasn’t ruining mine either. They were giving the gift of healing to my daughter…best present ever that year.
And yes, there were presents that didn’t get delivered and food that didn’t get prepared and eaten and decorations that didn’t get seen – all of which cost me in time, money and rest. But what was the use of being disappointed by the loss of a few dollars and sleep when my daughter’s health was at stake?
What’s the use of being in a panicked state at Christmas when the things that make us crazy are just window dressing on what is really important?
May you have a wonderful celebration of what is important this Christmas.