And Here Come the Nutcrackers ---
There was a time when I rushed through the holidays. I shopped early. I wrapped early. I wanted the tree up on Thanksgiving night regardless. I was driven. I was also tired with all that rushing. I couldn't enjoy the end result because I didn't enjoy the process.
There were a few years that I tried to keep up the pace for my children even though my children were grown and gone with spouses and homes of their own. Maybe I was trying to ignore the fact that my nest was empty and I wasn't enjoying it. It was very depressing to realize that I was doing what I had always done and nobody cared or appreciated it.
So....then followed the years that I just didn't bother. I have a Christmas village that we put up every year but it turned into a chore with no joy. Nobody was there to enjoy it and I just ceased caring. There were even a couple of years that I didn't bother with a tree -- the village was exhausting enough.
The last couple of years my apathy was fueled by what was clearly declining health although I didn't realize it at the time. I didn't have the energy or the interest and besides, the children were doing their own thing so it didn't matter whether I went through the motions or not. These last couple of years Christmas has just sort of come and gone and I was just as glad to have it that way.
This year is different. A lot different. In the first place, my good health has been restored and I have a huge amount of energy and interest in things and I am seeing the holidays in a whole new way. What way is that? Well, I have come to realize that Christmas is MY Christmas too -- not just reliant on my children. I can enjoy the holiday on my own terms -- and do it the way I want even though that may not be the way it was done in the past. I can change things up and not feel like I am somehow betraying my traditions. I can decorate as much or as little as I want. I am not in a race against some arbitrary time constraints. So, I have been decorating a little bit at a time -- looking at my decorations that have been accumulated over time -- really enjoying them and remembering when they were acquired and where. I have even added a few new things this year. The village will most certainly go up -- probably this weekend -- and I may or may not put up the tree, I haven't decided. The wreath goes up this evening and the stockings will follow suit.
This season of Advent is so meaningful to me. It is a time of quiet which I need. It is a time of peace which I feel so strongly right now. It is a time of new beginnings which I look forward to. This Christmas is going to be different than the last several Christmases have been because I am different and I am thinking I like this new outlook.