This is the first year I’ve gone through the trouble of creating, ordering, addressing, stamping, mailing, a mass amount of holiday cards. There was a point last night when I licked my 50th envelope that I seriously questioned my decision. But then I remember that I love receiving snail mail, especially cards. I love seeing the pictures of my family and friends perched around our house. It feels nice to be remembered and thought of.
(This is her actual reaction to a friend’s Christmas card)
And then I went to the Post Office this morning to mail said cards.
The line was out the door. I took a deep breath and joined the stoic faced crowd. A few minutes later a mom and son came in with a bag full of packages. The son was chatty, asking about the presents, requesting to hold the bag, for his mom to pick him up, for a kiss. The whole thing was unbelievably adorable and I found myself smiling ear to ear as she leaned down and planted a kiss on his lips. I looked around and saw that everyone else in the line had noticed the exchange and they, too, were smiling. Then I became aware of the Christmas carols playing, that the workers were actually smiling and all the packages and letters in the arms of those around me. All things I would have missed had I not taken a moment to put my phone away, embrace the line and chill out!
This time of year can be seriously chaotic: running errands, finding parking, braving crowds, even ordering presents online. If you let it the whole season can be about checking things off your to-do list. I’m so guilty of this. I love the feeling of a completed to-do list but at what cost?
The last few days I’ve had a sort of ache in my heart for the season. I’m not sure exactly what’s causing it. Maybe the realization that my baby is closing in on a year, that Michael has been traveling the past few weeks and the house can feel rather quiet in the evenings, the fact that we’re only a week out from Christmas and that half the season is over, maybe it’s the memory of my dad that tends surface this time of year, the turmoil of the world around us, the pain of so many and all of our needs for joy, love, holiday cheer. I don’t know, maybe it’s a combination of all of the above.
Whatever it is, I don’t think a completed to-do list is going to remedy the situation. Instead, I’m going to try to be really present for the next week. I’m setting intentions to be aware, slow down, breathe in the the magic of the season. I’m going to go all holiday on my attitude and activities: watch cheesy Hallmark movies, drink Bailey’s on the rocks, put on holiday music every morning to accompany our breakfast, even if Michael rolls his eyes and ask what the heck I’m listening to. I’m going to enjoy the snow covering the city, embrace crowds, do less, be still more, send out immense amounts of love to all of you and look out for those little moments of wonder and cheer that exist if you take the time to notice them.
Enjoy and Exhale!