It’s what? November?

The holidays are bearing down upon us. At least, that’s the way I used to look at this magical window of time between Halloween and Thanksgiving. It seems like we go from summer to pumpkin spice to turkey to trees in the matter of about a week.

We raised four children. Life was, shall I say, chaotic at most any time of the year. From Halloween through December 31, the time was (and remains) a blur. So much to do: shop, wrap, decorate, bake, cook, entertain. Wash. Rinse Repeat.

Now that we are empty-nesters, I can honestly say that we view this time so differently. It’s safe to say that it’s sacred to us. We plan and measure our time carefully. We have learned to sift out the “have-tos” in order to make room for the “get-tos.” We soak up the intentional time we spend with friends and family.

Rushing is for young folks. Stressing and over-committing are for young folks. These days, we prefer slow, measured enjoyment. Sure, we’ll shop for the perfect gifts for our family. I’ll bake, because I love baking. We’ll host holiday meals, but I promise you, everything won’t be made from scratch. We’ll decorate, but we won’t stress or worry about keeping up with the Joneses. 

We’ll also spend more time with our grandchildren. We’ll read and plan special sleepovers. We’ll let them decorate gingerbread houses without the pressure of perfection. We’ll let them pour out a whole bottle of sprinkles on one cookie, if that’s what it takes to make that cookie special. We’ll soak it all in.

Do I write all this simply to communicate that we’re older and wiser (and slower) now? No, not at all. I write it first, because it makes me happy. I also write it to admonish any who may be reading this to take heed. This time of year is not about getting as much done as humanly possible. It’s not about exhausting ourselves or performing to a certain standard. It’s not about out-spending one another. 

As corny as I know it sounds, this time of year is about giving love and receiving the love of those who matter to us. It’s about spending time, not money and effort. It’s about creating memories that last a lifetime. It’s about inviting a stranger in who may not otherwise have anyone with whom to celebrate. It’s about instilling a sense of magic and indelible memories to the youngest and to the oldest among us. It’s about extending a hand to someone who needs compassion. It’s about keeping hope kindled in those who struggle with hopelessness.

In other words, it’s about gratitude and Christmas and all the good that they bring with them. Take my word for it. Relax, and enjoy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *