Every year, I set out to try to make Christmas a little bit simpler. I have grand intentions to limit what I buy for my kids, to not go crazy on the baking, and to not run all around the metro heading from one event to another. I determine not to get caught up by all the razzle dazzle. And every year I fail.
I love Christmas. I love the bite in the air. I love Christmas music. I love the lights and decorations. I love hunting down the perfect present and I can’t resist when I find something that someone would love, even if I already bought them something else. Everything about Christmas makes me happy and I get caught up in it all. I simply can’t resist the lure of going over the top.
Yet, I think sometimes, when we get so caught up in it all, we can miss the whole point of why we’re doing what we’re doing. At least I can.
It hit me square between the eyes the other day. I had been going a million miles an hour that day (and for several days before). It just happened that my girls had their ballet performance that night for the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in our town. I was already feeling frayed and frazzled and I had to somehow get everybody fed, get them all ready and get them to the ballet studio in just over an hour’s time. I was in full gear, my nerves were tight and my stress was high.
Somehow I did it, but as I was trying to take a couple of pictures of my girls for this very special occasion, I found myself snapping at them. Lily wouldn’t look at the camera and when she finally did Arabelle would look away. I got worked up, and frankly, I got cranky and I started snapping at my kids.
The whole point of the craziness was to celebrate with them for this special performance, but the busyness of the season had already gotten me so frazzled that I wasn’t enjoying the moment because I was trying too hard to make it perfect.
I think we are so often like this. We get so caught up in all the hustle bustle that we forget to sit back and really enjoy the moment, especially at this time of year. Yet, at this time of year more than any other, we should be focusing on the small magical moments with those we love and not running from one end of town to another for yet another activity. We should stop DOING so much and just let ourselves enjoy being.
Yes, I’m still going to bake cookies and I’m still going to buy presents, but I’m glad I had a wake up call early enough in the season so that I might be able to keep myself from getting so frazzled that it all loses its magic anyway!